Swimming pools should be a happy and fun place for children. Unfortunately, many Florida and American families face swimming pool- related tragedies each year: drownings and near drowning of children. However, Florida Statute §515.29 sets forth barrier requirements for residential swimming pools to help prevent these type of drownings.
The statute requires all residential swimming pool barriers to have the following characteristics:
• The barrier must be a minimum of four feet high on the outside.
• The barrier may not have any openings that would allow a child to get through the barrier.
• The barrier must be situated around the perimeter of the pool.
• The barrier must allow sufficient space from the water’s edge to prevent a child or medically frail. elderly person from immediately falling into the water if they happen to penetrate the barrier.
Swimming pool-related drowning of young children have one particularly dangerous feature: they are silent deaths. It is unlikely that a child in distress will splash or scream to alert a parent that they are in trouble. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has studied a great deal of data on child drowning, as well as information on pool barrier construction. The Commission concluded the best way to reduce incidents of child drowning and injury in residential pools was for owners to construct and maintain barriers that would prevent children from gaining access to the pools. However, there is nothing better than undeviating supervision.
For more information on pool barrier requirements, see Florida Statute §515.29 Residential swimming pool barrier requirements .