Pool Safety, Pool Fence, and Child Drowning Facts

A child is roughly 100 times more likely to be killed by a swimming pool than a firearm. (Source: Freakonomics, 2005)

You would be mortified if you saw a gun left on a kitchen counter in a house with toddlers scampering about. Why don’t you have the same reaction when you see an unprotected pool, since we know the pool is a much bigger threat?

In 2007, nearly 700 children fatally drown. For every child who dies from drowning, another four children are sent to the ER for nonfatal submersion injuries, many becoming permanently disabled. (Source: CDC)

How Does It Happen?

69% of fatal drowning incidents occur while one or both parents were responsible for supervising the child. Many of these are good, loving parents – like your friends, like your neighbors, like you.

77% of these children had been seen five minutes before being found in the pool. 46% were last seen IN THE HOUSE. (Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Children drown quickly and silently.

What Can You Do?

Parent supervision is the most important step, but it can and does fail. No one can watch an active toddler every moment of every day. The annoying neighbor rings the door bell to borrow milk (again), your burning dinner sets the fire alarm off, your seven year old runs inside with a bloody nose, you drop a frozen pork chop on your toe – distractions happen. It only takes minutes for your life to be turned upside down forever.

The solution is to implement layers of protection. In addition to active parent supervision, Life Saver Systems recommends:

  • High locks and alarms on all doors and windows with pool access.
  • A pool safety fence isolating the pool from the home and all access points.
  • Alarms both in the pool and worn on the child.
  • Water survival training as soon as the child is crawling.
  • CPR and rescue techniques – your final layer of defense.


The more layers you have, the safer your pool area. If there is a lapse in supervision, for whatever reason, all must fail before a drowning can occur.

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Pool Safety Fencing

Pool safety fencing is the only layer of protection that provides a physical barrier between your home and pool. A pool fence is a must. If you wouldn’t own a car without seat belts, do not own a pool without a fence. Pool fences should be at least 4 feet high and have a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens away from the pool. Removable safety fencing has proven for over 40 years to be the most practical and effective barrier against pool drowning short of permanent rail fence. Life Saver Systems has manufactured the highest quality mesh pool safety fencing for over 25 years. Pool fence constructed of see-through mesh is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but allows increased visibility for increased safety.