Hello From Soaking Wet Working Mother

Ljbwilk

Member
Mar 12, 2018
9
Saint Louis MO
[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Hello TFP Community,

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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]I’m new here. My name is Joanna. I have three children under the age of six and a very full time job and my husband and I just bought a house with a pool. I grew up competitively swimming and so I’m excited to have a pool but also terrified. For one thing, my husband’s job is VERY demanding. I’m a busy girl and already responsible for all things house related in addition to my own job and three little kids (two of whom are duplicates). My husband actually calls me “the family handyman.” For another thing, I’m really concerned about safety. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]So all three kids started swimming lessons as soon as we moved in last summer and we have a door alarm and fence around the periphery of our property. But frankly, I’m not assured that it’s enough which is one of the reasons I joined TFP. Hoping for some advice on safety. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Another reason is that we are about to begin major pool renovation. Turns out our pool sat vacant and unattended for years after the 2009 owner foreclosed. I am told that all the lines are pressured tested and the pool managed to survive despite negligence in part because it is a very well made pool. So yay! But it needs resurfacing/are-coping and re-tiling. So whomp whomp. Anyone want to rap about Pebble Sheen ocean blue?[/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]Anyway here’s the best picture I can find of me and my pool. There’s a giant $1500 trash bag laying over our pool at the moment and we do not have many pictures from last summer so I apologize for this one. Yes, that is me and I’m soaking wet after diving in to rescue a twin in distress. And no the other twin is not urinating in the yard but I acknowledge that it looks like he is. [/FONT][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot]I read all of the rules and guidelines and hope I’m not violating anything. Nice to virtually meet you all.[/FONT][/FONT]
 

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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
17,536
Evans, Georgia
Hiya Joanna :handwave: What a great intro, and pic!

There are some fences you can put up blocking access to the pool, and they are removable when you want full access.

THE SAFEST AND STRONGEST POOL FENCE. #1 Swimming Pool Safety Fencing with Pool Gate

Also some "net" products are out there. Katchakid, comes to mind.

And while you're re-habbing the pool, if you have a bit of cash to spare, the safest pool cover I can imagine is an automatic one. Mine opens and shuts via a key.
Do a Google search on "Automatic Pool Covers". They can be added after the fact to existing pools.

You do have your hands full, and those boys are beautiful. You are a lucky woman. A good safety system will take that worry monkey off your back.

Maddie :flower:
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,071
Tallahassee, FL
Maddie has you covered on the different safety methods. I will tell you that the water alerts do more harm than good as most people unplug them due to something as simple as the wind setting it off. For an indoor pool them might work but an outdoor pool-nope.

Let us know your thoughts on what Maddie shared with you.

Kim:kim:
 

bmoreswim

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I read all of the rules and guidelines and hope I’m not violating anything.

The only thing you may have violated was the allowable cuteness on any one picture. Otherwise all seems compliant.

Welcome to TFP!

TFP will will give you great advice on at least one area of your life. During your time here you may get advice, solicited or not, on all sorts of things. Like where your kids are allowed to pee and where they aren’t. I’m thinking that a contingent here is just fine with a certain amount of underage outdoor peeing so long as it’s not IN the pool.
 

Leebo

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Save that photo! I see those coming in handy around graduation.

Awesome intro and I cannot wait to help you out in the future!
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,215
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Welcome! Boys are so much fun! With your fencing it really depends on which code you’re following as to how effective it will be. Here in Australia our pool fencing regulations are exceptionally tight. There will always be children who can navigate any fence though. The door alarms will help. You can also get a pool gate latch that has an alarm built in. Plus there’s alarms that sit in the pool and go off when anything over 3kg lands in the pool. Our pb includes one on every build. With your children being so young, I think a lockable cover would be great if your budget allows.
 

Ljbwilk

Member
Mar 12, 2018
9
Saint Louis MO
[FONT=&quot]Thank you everyone for the warm welcome! I looked into getting an automatic pool cover and was told that because our pool is irregular in size (not rectangular-- it kind of looks like the shape of a giant pregnant bean to me?), it would be very difficult. The wall on one side doesn't help things, either. [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]The notoriously cheap previous owners did purchase a child safety pool fence and had all of the holes installed around the pool's periphery but I would not assume that it’s the best quality. Another issue is that the holes are too close to the periphery and so we can NOT use both the fence and the winter leaf cover at the same time and the leaf cover basically a giant ugly trash bag/death trap waiting to happen. As a former lifeguard, I have NO idea how I’d rescue a child who walked out on to that thing because it would immediately collapse around/on top of him making him exceedingly difficult to reach.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Another thing that strikes me is that part of assessing safety is being realistic about what I'm actually going to get done on a daily basis and I have to wonder if it's realistic to put up and take down the fence every single day... is it? [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]So I’m trying to convince my husband that we should install a nice, attractive, high quality 6’ wrought iron fence around the pool deck complete with super high tech entrance latches that no little hands could reach. The cost is about $10,000 and is troubling because the rest of the yard needs landscaping/hardscaping/major makeover and is pretty disjunctive. But I figure the most important part is safety— so we put the wrought iron fence in and then design around it… right? [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Wrong? [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Should I have posted this as a question elsewhere? Again, I’m new. Sorry if this is off topic for this particular section of the forum.[/FONT]
 

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Dirk

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Nov 12, 2017
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Hi Joanna, and welcome to the best resource you'll find for taking care of your pool and your family.

First things first. Go to Lowes/Home Depot and buy a $15 mexican pot, about 15" around. Fill it with dirt, put it out in your yard, and tell your boys it's OK to pee in it. Mine run across the entire yard to get to theirs, and they love doing it, and take all their friends to it, and it's all a big hoot, because boys are dirty little creatures and find great amusement in all things "business" related. So I'm fairly certain my pool and yard are pee-free! (Well, at least free-er!) Haven't yet solved for the girl... that's what chlorine is for!

I struggled with the safety issue, and came up with all your same dilemmas. I looked at all the systems. I weighed all the costs. It all came down to the same thing, which you've already realized. Practicality vs safety. If it's too annoying to use (effort, false alarms, time, whatever), or to look at, will you actually use it? And can they actually end up being more dangerous (like getting trapped under a "safety" cover, or relying on a battery that goes dead, or provide a false sense of security, whatever).

I don't think there is any one solution, and I'm fairly certain there is no ultimate solution. You have to do it with multiple layers, as many as you can stand, and hope for the best. Choosing between (only a partial list):

Teach 'em to swim. (And more importantly how to get to the side and get out.)
Drill them until they just won't go out to the pool without you.
Door alarms.
Pool alarms.
Door latches they can't reach.
Wearable alarms.
Fences.
Covers.
Don't use a cell phone! (Long story. Short version: attention distraction!)

Ironically, sadly, and I can't remember the exact statistic, but a large number of child drownings occur while the parent is right there with them by the water (when they would have disengaged all the previously listed safeties). And just to pile it on ya, don't forget your kids have to be able to navigate themselves out of danger while fully clothed. I had to pull a guest's son out of my pool, after they were all done swimming, all changed into street clothes, because his brother thought it would be hilarious to push him into the pool. His parents were in the house, thinking everybody was all done with the pool. I was watching him drown while I was running to him. (Boys.)

Don't get me started on flotation. Talk about a false sense of security.

Scary stuff.

I ended up with a "lite" version and stay hyper vigilant. Kid proof door latches, two of the three now swim like fish (swimming lessons), they are NEVER in the yard by themselves, they know they'll get severely punished if they try, and I [try to] know where they are in the house at all times. I don't take my eye off them while they're in the pool when I'm "on watch," and my family has a system with which we pass "the watch" to one another if we have to go do something else. It's now just a hand jester, but we actively assign who's got the duty, and don't assume we are "collectively watching" the kids (without which is how kids drown within sight of parents). Not great, not perfect, but it's working and fits my family's lifestyle and my sensibilities about it. I know the cover wouldn't work for me. My six-year-old can climb any fence, and sees any as a personal challenge. My nine-year-old can figure out any lock, and/or find any key. I would never trust their lives to a battery, or any electronic system for that matter. I'm counting on them, what I teach them and mostly on myself, doing what I'm supposed to do by guarding them, and knowing their whereabouts, whenever they are in my care.

Not much help, I realize. I really do think the solution is more in the training than in the equipment, the more of both the better.




 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,215
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
A wrought iron fence would look lovely, but yes very expensive. You can get some lovely, decorative aluminium pool fencing that will do the job and look pretty too for a fraction of the cost.
 

bmoreswim

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Hey, you dried off and came back!

Can you share a few pics of the whole pool and surroundings? It will be very helpful to see it and make recommendations or second your thoughts.

And as usual, Dirk has given a really cursory response. [emoji4]. But really, he gets paid by the character.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
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Just wanted to share with you an advertising campaign that has been going here in Australia since 2007. The Kids Alive Do the Five program has lobbied for stricter regulations and education with amazing results.

Kids Alive Do The Five KA220916W30 - YouTube

Resuscitate! Yes, of course. Mandatory. I just realized (thanks! riley00dog)... I know CPR, but I'm not actually sure on how low an age I can use the method I know. I'm on it.
 

riley00dog

Gold Supporter
Nov 14, 2017
2,215
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Resuscitate! Yes, of course. Mandatory. I just realized (thanks! riley00dog)... I know CPR, but I'm not actually sure on how low an age I can use the method I know. I'm on it.

Any cpr knowledge is better than none. The technique is different for little ones but any cpr can be enough to keep them going until help arrives. Our pool regulations require every pool to have a large sign within the pool area that tells you step by step what to do for both children and adults. I saw one the other day with buttons down the bottom that you press for a voice to talk you through the step by step process for adults, children and infants.
 

kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
49,071
Tallahassee, FL
OH I LOVE that video! Short and catchy! Well done over there!

Mom, Why do you think you would need to put and take down the fence very day?

I, also, would like to see another shot of the pool and house further back so we can really see what you are working with.

Oh and on the solid cover................NOPE, NOPE, NOPE for the very reason you stated..........It would be next to impossible to find the kid or critter if they fell in on it!

Kim:kim:
 

Ljbwilk

Member
Mar 12, 2018
9
Saint Louis MO
Our backyard basically has four levels. The first level is the deck which is dilapidated and needs to be replaced. The second level is sort of a platform enclosed by a flagstone retaining wall that includes waterfalls. The third level is the pool deck. The fourth level is a sizable backyard behind the pool deck in which my children have never played because the pool is not enclosed and I cannot trust them back there.

It keeps telling me that I'm exceeding my quota by 93KB but I don't know where I can delete other photos that I've uploaded. Here is a link to the four levels
https://ibb.co/d1fip7


 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
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Pool Size
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What a great backyard, lot's of possibilities for kids of all ages!

Another member here just turned me on to this site, as we're in the middle of discussing my own pool safety issues. It's a lot more positive than the black hole of doom I showed you in my first post (sorry 'bout that)!

Home - The ZAC Foundation

If you find TFP useful and care to donate to its cause, you'll get a few perks in return, including lots more quota for photos...

CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!!
 

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