child safety

Child Pool Alarms - What's Available?

Child Pool Alarms
Your backyard swimming pool can provide hours of family fun, but it also can pose a danger to your children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is a leading cause of death among children, and toddlers between the ages of 1 and 4 most commonly drown in swimming pools. No safety measure is more vital to keeping children safe in the water than adult supervision; young children should always be within arm's reach of an adult.

It is also important to put safety measures in place in the event a child accesses the pool unbeknownst to adults. Most drownings take place in less than five minutes and are generally silent events. Child pool alarms are safety devices that are made to alert adults in the event that a child has entered the pool area and can be an effective safety tool to help prevent drowning.

Child pool alarms are available in a multitude of different types and price ranges. To decide which child pool alarm best suits your needs, consider the features, price, power source, and your family's needs.

  • Door and window alarms attach to exterior doors and windows that provide access to the pool. They may be battery powered or wired into the house's electrical system and are activated and deactivated with either a key or keypad. The alarms emit a warning sound when the door or window is opened.
  • Gate and fence alarms. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all pools be surrounded by a four-foot-high, nonclimbable, four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Battery-powered gate alarms are made for outdoor use and can be mounted directly on the gate using magnetic switches. The alarm sounds when the gate is opened and the electrical field is broken. In addition, fence-mounted motion detector alarms can be mounted directly to the fence and emit an alarm when movement or body heat is detected within the alarm's range of detection, usually up to 8 feet.
  • Perimeter alarms use laser or infrared light to form an unbroken light beam around the perimeter of the pool. Once a child enters the pool, the perimeter is broken making the alarm sound. The alarm beams are mounted 12-24 inches above the ground and can be adjusted according to your child's height.
  • Floating or wave sensor alarms are child pool alarms that you mount on the edge of or inside the pool. They are battery powered and portable. The sensors react to water displacement when a child breaks the surface of the water and enters the pool. When this happens the sensor emits a loud alarm through the receiver that can be used in the home or carried by an adult.
  • Pool mounted passive infra-red motion detectors. These alarms combine many of the features of the other alarms. They can be run on either battery power or electricity. They detect both heat and motion, do not rely on a perimeter fence, and emit the loudest siren/warning alarm.
If you are a parent, a child pool safety alarm can give you great comfort and peace of mind. Of course, it shouldn't replace constant supervision and a watchful eye.

Do you know of some other child pool alarms not mentioned in ths article? Share your comments below.

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Child Swimming and Water Safety Information:

The aim of childrens water safety education is to enable children to recognize and assess potential aquatic dangers and to develop a realistic understanding of their swimming ability in various water and weather conditions.

For many people, child pool safety is a hazy area of concern. Some parent's don't even recognize that a danger exists, perhaps that children don't have the understanding of cause and effect that we adults do, even though they possess an insatiable curiosity.

Are you a pool owner? If you are, you may be contemplating installing a child pool safety fence. Although a fence is recommended, you may be looking for reassurance that you are making the right decision. After all, high-end pool fences can cost thousands of dollars.

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