How to Keep Your Children Safe Near a Swim Spa

by Pool Builders on 01-27-2011 in Articles

Swim spas or exercise pools come in both indoor and outdoor varieties. As a swim spa owner, if you have toddlers or children at home, it is your responsibility to ensure that the necessary spa safety is in place. Here are some measures that you can take to childproof your swim spa.

Secure your outdoor swim spa

A fence

A fence separating the spa from the surrounding yard will prevent kids from falling in accidentally or otherwise. The fence should have no handholds or footholds and should stand 4 feet or higher. If constructed using vertical slats, the gaps between them should not be greater than 4 inches. The fenced enclosure should be locked when the spa is not in use.

Alarms

Often a fence alone is insufficient to ensure the spa area is safe. In these instances, setting up an alarm system is useful.

• The personal alarm - This alarm is attached to the child's arm and will emit a warning alarm if it touches water.
• The spa alarm - This can be rigged so that it goes off every time the door or gate leading to the spa area is opened.
• The perimeter alarm - This system has motion sensor beams in place around the spa. An alarm sounds when a person walks through them. It is effective when used in conjunction with a fence.
• The surface alarm - This warning alarm sounds if someone enters the water in the spa. However, this is not very effective with kids who often enter the water without disturbing it.

A spa cover

A spa safety cover offers an additional level of protection. While these were flimsy in the past, today covers designed for swim spas are sturdy and can easily support the weight of a child without giving way. The cover attaches firmly to the spa's sides and provides no gaps through which kids can squeeze through into the water.

Secure your indoor swim spa

• Use a lockable cover - Buy a spa safety cover that locks.
• Lock the room - Ensure that the room where your spa is located is kept locked.
• Set up an alarm system in the room- Refer to the section above on 'Alarms' for details.
• Ensure that the younger swim spa users learn how to swim.
• Educate your child - If the child is old enough, teach him or her about all possible dangers with regard to swim spa usage.

Key water safety rules for children

• They should never enter a spa or pool without informing a guardian or parent first. Kids should never be allowed to swim without supervision.
• Teach your children how to read the numbers representing depth on the sides of a spa or a pool. Often kids depend too much on parents to instruct them on where they can or cannot swim. This is a good opportunity for them to learn what these numbers correspond to in terms of where their feet can touch the spa or pool floor.
• Don't allow your kids to use inflatable vests or flotation devices. They don't necessarily ensure safety but instead lead you to believe that all is secure when it may not be the case.
• Teach your kids children how to leave a spa or pool safely. Children tend to swim towards adults when they want to leave the water. Thus it is crucial to educate them on swimming towards correct exits like ladders in the spa or pool.

Swim spas provide great opportunities for recreation and health, but can still be hazardous water bodies where kids are concerned. Take the necessary steps to make your swim spa safe and teach your kids basic water safety rules to avoid potential accidents.

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