Author Topic: pond safety  (Read 846 times)

affordablehousing

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
pond safety
« on: October 30, 2018, 12:07:31 PM »
So we have a pond at our house that I want to babyproof before our child gets mobile. It's an irregular ~20' long and ~5' wide kidney shaped kind of pond with a waterfall at one end and it's ringed with rocks set in concrete. It is pretty deep and a lot of water, and frankly, we really like it. It however is a death trap, and I'm wondering, despite removing it being the safest strategy, if others have built a pond cover that would prevent their kid from falling in, when faced with this? I had thought to use something like chain link fence sandwiched between pressure treated wood. It wouldn't be pretty, but it might do the job? If anyone has experience with this I'd love to hear it!

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8800
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: pond safety
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 02:08:44 PM »
In most municipalities, pools are required to be completely enclosed with a fence for just this reason. 
You can buy custom pool covers which will support the weight of an adult ("Winterizing covers"), but they are not cheap and then what's the point of a pond if its under a cover 24/7?

I'd start looking at completely enclosing the pond with an asthetically pleasing wooden fence.   You might be able to use some creative landscaping to make it look pretty.  It will cost several thousand $, but it's going to be prettier than chain link and less toxic than whatever that pressure-treated sandwich you are considering.

erutio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: pond safety
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 02:12:32 PM »
Educating the child, provide constant reminders, and teaching them to swim is the mustachian way to go.  3-4 years olds can be taught to swim independently.  I think putting a fence or cover only provides a false sense of security.  Without the cover, you will be more vigilant.

Or get rid of the pond.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8800
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: pond safety
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 02:27:11 PM »
Educating the child, provide constant reminders, and teaching them to swim is the mustachian way to go.  3-4 years olds can be taught to swim independently.  I think putting a fence or cover only provides a false sense of security.  Without the cover, you will be more vigilant.

I agree that a 4 year old can be taught to swim independently (I joined my first swim team at age 4) but the rest of your advice is off the mark.
swimming when you are prepared and wearing a swim suit in warm clear wateris one thing - falling into near-freezing water while wearing shoes, jeans and a jacket can drown much older and stronger swimmers. As for covers, they are ASNI certified to prevent drowning when installed properly.  Fences can be effective barriers for children too young not to suddenly chase a duck across the yard (which describes most 3 or 4 year olds, regardless of how well parented they are).

The same logic applies to firearms. You can teach your child fire-arm safety and be vigilant, but you still lock up your guns and keep the ammo separate.

erutio

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
Re: pond safety
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 02:37:16 PM »

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8800
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: pond safety
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 02:44:29 PM »
Or get rid of the pond.

sure, that would work too,but the OP already said s/he wants to avoid that option.  I was responding to the advice you gave before that.

Look, to be amicable, I agree that all pond owners should do all the steps you mentioned.  But in addition they need to secure the pond.

calimom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 755
  • Location: Northern California
Re: pond safety
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 08:59:49 PM »
When I was searching online for a house in the town I would be raising my children in, many had swimming pools. One property ticked all the boxes in location, style of house and affordability. This is in an area with multiple days in the summer of triple digit temps. The tow older kids, at 14 and 5 were water friendly and my then 5 year old would grow to become a bit player on his swim team. My at the time  toddler daughter was a huge concern so I passed on that house. She's ow 12 so some days in the summer I regret that decision but it was the best choice at the time.

OP, can you fence the pond? As well as getting you little one in swimming lessons as soon as possible? You're very smart to be aware and concerned. Every year in my town there's a heartbreaking terrible story about a preventable water incident involving a toddler.

GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1260
Re: pond safety
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2018, 02:15:59 AM »
1. Door locks, up higher than the door handle. We used the kind that have a bar that pushes into a stop at the top of the door. Lock every outside door all the time; only unlock when you are with the child. Some add door alarms.

2. Water lessons that focus on floating on the back to get air & paddling to get out. We used the Infant Swimming Research program starting at age 18 months, with annual refreshers until age 4 when DS was finally old enough for swim lessons. The final test is done in full clothing, including jacket & shoes.

3. Life jacket worn at all times that the child will be in a boat or near a body of water.

4. Donít neglect to secure toilets, tubs, & buckets.


Cranky

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1445
Re: pond safety
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2018, 05:50:24 AM »
We have a small decorative pond - originally one of those plastic insets like you can buy at Lowe's, but it has developed a bit from there. It's pretty much a "water feature", though.

When we put it in, there were no small children on our block, so I really didn't worry about it. Then we got new neighbors next door who had a toddler, and dh and I talked about taking it out, but then the neighbors put in a similar pond, so we kept it, but we've made it fairly small child unfriendly. There's a low decorative fence around it, and we've planted wild roses all around it.

We do cover it with screen in the winter, but that's to keep the leaves out.

mankyle

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: pond safety
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 03:31:39 PM »
I have a very small decorative pond in my yard (maybe 3x5 ft) but it sits beside some huge holley bushes full of pretty red berries that my 1.5 year old has decided look good enough to eat (but are in reality quite poisonous).  We opted to go the fence route.  I simply used the green metal fence posts that you pound into the ground and decided on a green plastic fencing but they also have nicer wire fencing that comes in the rolls.  The fence is surprisingly sturdy (I leaned on it and bounced of it a few times to test it). 

Does it look nice?  Hell no.  Does it keep my toddler safe?  Yes.  My thought is that in a year or so she will be more "trainable" and I can take the fence down.  Of course some of you more experienced parents are probably laughing at my naivety.  At least come spring the holley berries will be gone so that's one less hazard to worry about and I can at least shrink the size of the fence. 

My fence is a 4 foot tall variety.  I would have preferred a 3 foot fence but couldn't find the fencing material of that height and din't want to cut  50 ft of 6 ft fence in half lengthwise.  For my daughter I really just needed a visible barrier that did not encourage climbing.  The wire fence also had bigger holes and I could see her using it as a ladder.  The plastic fence's holes were smaller and she can't get a foothold so isn't interested in trying to scale it.

I did alot of calculations and this seemed the most economical solution short of removing the pond and since I needed to block the Hollies too made the most sense for me.

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 709
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: pond safety
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 06:29:15 PM »
Educating the child, provide constant reminders, and teaching them to swim is the mustachian way to go.  3-4 years olds can be taught to swim independently.  I think putting a fence or cover only provides a false sense of security.  Without the cover, you will be more vigilant.

The same logic applies to firearms. You can teach your child fire-arm safety and be vigilant, but you still lock up your guns and keep the ammo separate.

Oh if only more parents would actually do that.  Sadly, far too few do.

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5805
  • Location: BC
Re: pond safety
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 06:33:57 PM »
A wire cover, or a glass cover are what I would do.  Glass covers are not uncommon on the asian inspired "ponds" here with Choi in them. 
http://elitepondcovers.co.uk/testimonials/