Do You Need a Fence for an Inflatable Pool?

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Most areas require fencing for inflatable pools above 18 inches deep, and the barrier must be at least 4 feet high. Many local and state laws vary.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for kids under the age of 5 years old, totaling about 300 deaths annually.
Many of these deaths could have been prevented with proper barriers surrounding pools (including the inflatable variety), as it can keep kids from accessing water hazards without adult supervision.
While most people know fencing is necessary for drowning prevention for in-ground pools, many people opt for above ground pools, where the rules surrounding fencing are more hazy. That being said, how do you determine if you need a pool fence for an inflatable pool?
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When you need a fence for an inflatable pool

Whether or not you need a fence around your inflatable pool depends on the depth of the pool and where you live.

The depth of the pool

Most laws state you should install a fence if your pool is 18 inches deep or more. Keep in mind that some places also have width requirements, so research the laws in your area.
While it would be difficult for an adult to drown in a 1.5-feet deep kiddie pool, that depth of water poses an extremely high drowning risk to small children. Toddlers are especially at risk because they could wander through a gate or into a yard with an unfenced inflatable pool.

Your place of residence

While there are some standard recommendations and regulations, specific requirements for fences around inflatable or portable pools can vary slightly according to state, county, or even city.
Some places may have additional requirements for fencing, such as a self locking gate. The height of fencing may also vary by area, with most minimums being between the four to five-foot range.
Check your local municipal codes and laws with your city, county, and state government to be sure you're meeting the exact requirements.

Inflatable pool safety tips

When setting up an inflatable pool for residential, recreational use, remember your "ABC's," which stand for:
Adult supervision: Although small children are especially at risk, pools should never be used by children under 16 without adult supervision. Even if your child has participated in swimming lessons, they should never be left unattended.
Barriers: Build a fence around your inflatable pool even if it is not required in your area. Barriers come in all shapes, materials, and sizes.
You can opt for a fence that you can remove when the pool is empty or stored for the winter. If you have a toddler, it's advisable that you install a self locking gate to prevent the child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
Swimming lessons: Make sure your children know the ins and outs of water safety. Even if they have no desire to swim, learning to swim could be a life-saving skill. Check with your local YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, or other public pool for available educational opportunities.
Swimming pools are a great way to add some fun to the sunny summer months. If you're planning on setting up an inflatable pool in your backyard, make sure you follow all of the necessary precautions to keep young children safe.
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