Backyard ponds seem harmless enough. Their foliage, fish and rocks compliment any garden. The sound of the running water sooths and calms. They are an oasis in our own backyards.
But as the number of backyard water ponds increases in neighbourhoods everywhere, so too does the number of children and pets drowning in these ponds.
For anyone considering such an addition to their garden and for those with existing ponds, kid-proofing is an absolute must. One of the easiest and simplest ways to child-proof a pond area is to install a fence or safety barrier.
Likewise, a pool alarm should be considered along with the sculptured fountain. Commonly used in backyard swimming pools, a pool alarm floats on the surface of the pool or pond and sounds a loud, shrill alarm when something or someone falls into the pond. While this may not be so practical if you plan to add fish or other moving water creatures to the pond, any pool pool safety specialist should be able to guide you to a workable solution.
Other safety precautions include:
* Building the rocks up enough around the edge of the pond to keep the children from falling in (cylinder blocks look attractive)
* Placing a fair amount of loose rock or gribable stairs in the pond itself so that should a child or pet fall into the pond, they have something to gain their footing on as pond liners become extremely slippery when coated with algae
* Ensuring decorative materials around the pond are secure and won't fall should a child decide to climb on them
* Understanding and abiding by your local codes for installing a pond - even a three inch pond without a fence may be a violation of local regulations. Children have drown in less than three inches of water.
Kid Proofing A Pond
When it comes right down to kid-proofing the pond, even when all known safety precautions have been put in place, it really all starts with you. Children should never, never be left alone for even a second when in the vicinity of any unsecured water source. Anyone with a pond, pool, or spa on their property should have updated infant/child first aid and CPR training. Knowing how to resuscitate a child who has been submerged in water is imperative.
Children are as unpredictable as the weather. Keeping one step ahead of them takes planning and above all else, common sense. Your backyard pond can be a treasure for everyone if you think safety first, design and stocking the pond second.