Above ground pool coming - 3 very young kids, and no prior pool experience. Hit me with tips!!!

MandaG

New member
Jul 11, 2020
2
Mundelein IL
My husband and I are brand new to owning a pool, and are having an above ground pool put in Sept. In Northern Illinois that means we have maybe a week to use it so we have all these considerations of opening and closing within weeks of each other, and whether it’s even worth it to try to swim this year. We don’t really know where to begin and are blissfully ignorant of the work required right now!! We also have 3 kids 3 years and younger so ANY AND ALL tips about how to keep the pool safe, how to keep our kids safe, which life jackets or floaties PLEASE let me know. I’m trying to be a sponge!!!
 

Jeff J.

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2019
213
Staten Island NY
My husband and I are brand new to owning a pool, and are having an above ground pool put in Sept. In Northern Illinois that means we have maybe a week to use it so we have all these considerations of opening and closing within weeks of each other, and whether it’s even worth it to try to swim this year. We don’t really know where to begin and are blissfully ignorant of the work required right now!! We also have 3 kids 3 years and younger so ANY AND ALL tips about how to keep the pool safe, how to keep our kids safe, which life jackets or floaties PLEASE let me know. I’m trying to be a sponge!!!
First thing you should do is read Pool School on this site
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Welcome to TFP! :wave: I suspect your pool will get filled and closed within 3-4 weeks of each other depending on how the weather drops-in on you. Some things to do now:
- Have your TF-100 (or Taylor K-2006C) test kti in-hand on day one. See Test Kits Compared. That's a MUST.
- Start reading our ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry and those Vital Links below in my signature. You WILL need them.
- Preview the link below, even if your installers do a courtesy close for you.
- Load a profile and pool info into the PoolMath APP and practice withit now.
- Spend time on the forum to understand the discussions. We'll help you along the way.

 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,386
NY
Welcome !!

Forget the vests and swimmies. 'Puddle jumpers' are the best thing since sliced bread. Lots more movement and comfort means the kids don't mind wearing them all day if need be.

 
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Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,158
Hernando, Ms
Congrats on your pool purchase!
Aside from what they all said above- do you have a plan for a safety gate or something of that nature to prevent anyone from entering the pool unattended? I have a magna latch on my self closing gate & alarms on my doors & windows. I don’t have a pool alarm since I have a camera on the pool that dings my phone. We are in a municipality that doesn’t have alot of rules for above ground pools but I tried to be sure & set myself up for safety. Our friends lost their little girl to drowning last year. They had an above ground that had a deck up to their back door there was only a baby gate in the doorway & there were lots of people around, she just slipped off. It’s heartbreaking.
There are lots of good threads here about safety measures .
You’ve got plenty of time to research & find your way around TFP 😊
 

MandaG

New member
Jul 11, 2020
2
Mundelein IL
Congrats on your pool purchase!
Aside from what they all said above- do you have a plan for a safety gate or something of that nature to prevent anyone from entering the pool unattended? I have a magna latch on my self closing gate & alarms on my doors & windows. I don’t have a pool alarm since I have a camera on the pool that dings my phone. We are in a municipality that doesn’t have alot of rules for above ground pools but I tried to be sure & set myself up for safety. Our friends lost their little girl to drowning last year. They had an above ground that had a deck up to their back door there was only a baby gate in the doorway & there were lots of people around, she just slipped off. It’s heartbreaking.
There are lots of good threads here about safety measures .
You’ve got plenty of time to research & find your way around TFP 😊
That is heartbreaking... we are just plopping our pool right out there in the yard for now for that very reason, and will build a deck around it as the kids get older. Code doesnt require since we have a fence around the yard, but we are thinking of putting up a fence on the pool itself as well. I've seen pool alarms, some kind of water-sensing wristband to make kids wear when playing outside, simple door alarms all the way to home security systems... its a lot to digest and honestly reading SO many tragic stories that are making me get cold feet! I would rather spend a fortune than look back and wonder why I was being cheap, but I also don't want to spend a bunch of money on something that isn't useful, either.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,391
Marietta Ga
Consider swim lessons, my wife took my son after she heard about a young kid falling in a pool and almost drowning. It teach them how to swim and get out if they fall in.
Usually the final exam is they drop the kids in the pool with cloths on and make sure they can swim to the side. Looks and sounds scary but lifeguard is in the pool and surprisingly the kiddo's weren't scared and paddled to the side
 
Last edited:

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,386
NY
Usually the final exam is they drop the kids in the pool with cloths on and make sure they can swim to the side. Looks and sounds scary but lifeguard is in the pool and surprisingly the kiddo's weren't scared and paddled to the side
I didn’t fully exhale until both kids passed this test. And not for summer. I didn’t care if they fell in a summer pool while wearing shorts, but in a winter pool while wearing a full outfit and coat. My own pool had a safety cover but many friends and family had tarps on their pools in open backyards.

@MandaG, for now I like the idea of putting up the pool by itself and removing the ladder/stairs/access to it when not in use. The little ones won’t be able to climb in. Build the deck after they are good swimmers. It doesn’t take long when you have a pool. Once you build the deck then we help find a way to secure that.
 

Chasarms

Silver Supporter
May 8, 2020
344
Dardenne Prairie, MO
That is heartbreaking... we are just plopping our pool right out there in the yard for now for that very reason, and will build a deck around it as the kids get older. Code doesnt require since we have a fence around the yard, but we are thinking of putting up a fence on the pool itself as well. I've seen pool alarms, some kind of water-sensing wristband to make kids wear when playing outside, simple door alarms all the way to home security systems... its a lot to digest and honestly reading SO many tragic stories that are making me get cold feet! I would rather spend a fortune than look back and wonder why I was being cheap, but I also don't want to spend a bunch of money on something that isn't useful, either.

Make absolutely sure that you have a flip-up or easily removed ladder/stairs, and be hyper sensitive to making sure it NEVER gets left down/in place when you are not attending the kiddos in the pool.
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
1,158
Hernando, Ms
Don’t get discouraged - a few practical steps is all it takes. With so many people jumping into pool ownership right now sometimes safety gets overlooked. You’re asking the right questions!
Here’s a few ideas:
We have these on our doors& windows
- u can set them to alarm or chime. That way I know when anyone goes outside. They’re quite loud & i just replaced my first battery last week (on my most used door)- i’ve had them for like 6 yrs.
We have a wireless driveway alarm that also rarely needs batteries & it works superbly. I have contemplated putting another pointed across the water level in the pool area as you can have multiple sensors to one base station
F169D300-42B6-4BAD-B0B5-15D229D8ABF9.png
I also have wyze cams all over the place- they’re not very expensive -but they’re not my first line of defense -more of a backup & I just like being able to keep an eye on the pool from anywhere.
A cheap hotel type lock placed high on the door is invaluable with small children.
Kind of like normal security- you want layers & it doesn’t need to be expensive necessarily.
My brother in law just had to add another fence around his existing inground pool because they have a little boy who’s mobile now & he would have been able to go out the doggie door directly to the pool area. They were able to make it possible to still have the dog door as it is a necessity for them as well.
Every situation is different & needs change.

Some municipalities have alarm requirements for all pools not just inground & some don’t. If you’re area does you may have to purchase specific approved more expensive alarm products -if not you may be able to use some of the ideas listed above.

Also there are several good lockable ladders available on the market but like most things pool these days they may be on backorder so order now.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
Hello and Welcome to TFP!!
Exciting times for sure. Lots of talk about safety in the comments and rightly so. Whatever system you choose needs to be passive. Kids are very creative when it comes to getting around barriers to reach something they want. You can't rely on door bells or wrist bands or "keeping a close eye on them"
As much as I see the benefit of having "puddle jumpers" on the kids, I think it adds a false sense of security. You put the jumpers on when they are in the pool with you right? But that's not when they are really needed. When we installed the pool, we had 3, 6, 8 year olds. None swam much except at a beach. Guess which one was able to swim the best? It was the 3 year old. the older one could touch and cheated his way around the pool. The middle one bounced like a pogo stick around. The only way the youngest could get off the ladder was to swim. He had a lot of incentive. Jump off the ladder to Dad and then Dad made him swim back. Repeat... Playfully toss them in the air and let them swim back to you. Don't get me wrong, I gave my wife a heart attack a couple of times, but the kids came up laughing. The kidos need to feel comfortable in the water with their face underwater. That way if a slip happens, they don't panic and instinct kicks in. Teach them to blow bubbles with their face under water. Teach them to lay prone on their back and how to roll over to get on their back. Make it fun to learn these. Practice in the bath tub.
Use a ladder with a folding legs that can lock upwards. Keep chairs away from the pool edge.

Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry to get an idea of how to take care of the pool water. Start a thread in the AGP section and we can give you some advice on the equipment and care of the pool.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,391
Marietta Ga
Hello and Welcome to TFP!!
Exciting times for sure. Lots of talk about safety in the comments and rightly so. Whatever system you choose needs to be passive. Kids are very creative when it comes to getting around barriers to reach something they want. You can't rely on door bells or wrist bands or "keeping a close eye on them"
As much as I see the benefit of having "puddle jumpers" on the kids, I think it adds a false sense of security. You put the jumpers on when they are in the pool with you right? But that's not when they are really needed. When we installed the pool, we had 3, 6, 8 year olds. None swam much except at a beach. Guess which one was able to swim the best? It was the 3 year old. the older one could touch and cheated his way around the pool. The middle one bounced like a pogo stick around. The only way the youngest could get off the ladder was to swim. He had a lot of incentive. Jump off the ladder to Dad and then Dad made him swim back. Repeat... Playfully toss them in the air and let them swim back to you. Don't get me wrong, I gave my wife a heart attack a couple of times, but the kids came up laughing. The kidos need to feel comfortable in the water with their face underwater. That way if a slip happens, they don't panic and instinct kicks in. Teach them to blow bubbles with their face under water. Teach them to lay prone on their back and how to roll over to get on their back. Make it fun to learn these. Practice in the bath tub.
Use a ladder with a folding legs that can lock upwards. Keep chairs away from the pool edge.

Read ABCs of Pool Water Chemistry to get an idea of how to take care of the pool water. Start a thread in the AGP section and we can give you some advice on the equipment and care of the pool.
You also have to be very careful when friends come over, had a buddy who had several families over swimming and nobody was paying attention and one kid went under and was under for a few seconds before somebody realized and grabbed him..Have a find a polite way to let them know to "help watch the kid's".