Each year, thousands of drownings and near-drowning events occur in the U.S. - swimming pool tragedies that are preventable. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has studied this problem extensively. Their conclusion about the best way to reduce and hopefully eliminate these incidents:
Pool owners must install and maintain effective barriers to prevent young children from entering the pool area.
Swimming pool barriers, defined in the BOCA national building code requirements for both in ground and above ground pools, should be/have:
- at least 48" high
- free of foot holds
- self-closing gates
- free of hand holds
- self-latching gates
- made with small openings:
- horizontal - no wider than 1-3/4"
- vertical - no higher than 4"
- locking devices on all gates
- less than 4" clearance from ground to bottom of barrier
For further information, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a 32 page brochure available as a PDF: Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer.