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Swimming Pool Safety for Halloween Trick-or-Treaters
Going door-to-door for Halloween trick-or-treat is still a tradition in many parts of the country. Many neighborhoods encourage trick-or-treating as a community activity, and children love showing off their costumes to friends and neighbors. However, residential swimming pools are a safety hazard that is not often considered in articles about safe trick-or-treating. Here are some tips for pool owners and parents for swimming pool safety for Halloween trick-or-treaters.
If you have a pool:
- The focus of your Halloween decorations should be your front door when you are receiving trick-or-treaters; a beautifully decorated swimming pool will draw children closer and thus present a danger.
- If you do decide to decorate your pool area for Halloween, make the pool off-limits for trick-or-treaters and other Halloween visitors.
- Make doubly sure trick-or-treaters can’t get to the pool by locking the gate around the pool as well as your back yard gate. Consider adding alarms to all gates.
- Use a pool safety cover, not just a conventional winter cover. A safety cover fits snugly on your pool and can withstand a substantial amount of weight, so it protects children and animals from harm as well as keeping debris and sunlight from damaging your pool.
- Consider installing an alarm in your pool; available both in-ground and above-ground, these devices hang over the side of the pool and sound an alarm if an object as light as 15 pounds falls into the pool.
- Be sure all members of your family know where the shepherd’s crook and foam life preserver are located and can find them in dim or dark lighting conditions.
- Make sure all chemicals are locked away, out of reach of children.
If you accompany trick-or-treaters:
- If you live in a neighborhood with a community swimming pool, check with your homeowner’s association to ensure that the pool is covered and all gates leading to it are locked on Halloween.
- Have a short talk with children about safety before setting out. Make sure they understand that safety rules aren’t relaxed even when they are excited about the holiday.
- Make sure your children can see well. Many costumes hamper visibility.
- Each child, not just the adults in the party, should carry a flashlight.
- Even in familiar neighborhoods, never let a child run around a house to knock at the back door without close supervision.
- Make sure both older and younger children understand that climbing fences or going in open gates is forbidden.
- Carry your cell phone and make sure all children know how to use it in case of emergency. Even very young children can be taught to dial or say 911 into the phone.