Garden Pond Safety
All this year all you seem to hear in the news is a child has drowned in a garden pond and not the parents pond. It is a pond in a neighbours garden or at the grandparents or whilst playing around a friends house.
In this page we give safety tips with regard to garden ponds, some you have heard of some you may have not. We show products that could help you safe guard your children, some we sell and some we recommend you look into, we also highlight courses you can go on with regard to CPR and first aid.
The thing with garden ponds is they have fish and kids love fish, they love to kneel on the edge and lean over and try to touch the fish. Now a fish pond is usually only about 1-2 feet deep with ornamental rocks or stones at the waters edge or may have paving slabs around its shape. The trouble is ponds are never designed with a child's health and safety in mind and it is to easy for a child to slip or fall into the water with out you even realising it has happened.
The thing is if that was in your garden you would have it covered over or even filled in, parents with children often know about the dangers of garden ponds, they take measures to ensure there precious children are safe, but it doesn't matter how much effort you take, what about your neighbours or your neighbours' neighbour. What about your parents or your family friends, do they know about pond safety. Have they got there pond covered, are they aware that when your children are playing in there back garden extra supervision is required and extra precautions have to be taken.
Layers of protection
What does this mean?
What it means is that it can't always be down to just you, how many people have said it won't happen to my children I watch them like a hawk. I can tell you that if you had asked all the parents of the children that have drowned this year they would all have said the same.
Layers of protection means just that, layers.
The first layer is the cheapest and requires just one thing and that is you, supervision is the most important way of safe guarding your children. We have mentioned it in our Safety Page that, "When it comes to water safety the best protection you can give your children is not the Pool alarm or the Safety fence or any of the other devices that are on the market. The best water safety protection you can give your children is you!"
When you go around your parents house or a friends, don't just let your children wander into the back garden, first survey the risks. Check that the pond is covered or fenced, ensure that the back gate(s) are locked and that there is no means of leaving the back garden with out your knowledge.
If the pond is not covered or protected then make sure you supervise them at all times, a pond is like a pool and should be treated with the same respect. If the children want to see the fish and they always do, make them aware that you must be there at all times. Also make them aware that a pond can be dangerous, set down rules and ensure you and your children abide by those rules
Now the other layer's of protection costs money and this is when a lot of the time the layers start to break down, protection costs money and in this day and age you get what you pay fore.
Please do not compromise safety, your child's life may depend on it, however it also doesn't mean that you have to spend a absolute fortune kiting out your back garden like some sort of penitentiary. Each layer has to be judged on its merits, like we stated above treat it as a risk assessment, weigh up the risks and install layers to combat those risks and never compromise on the quality of those layers.
The second layer of protection is a pond cover or grid, there are several on the market some are below water covers and some are above. What you must be aware of is water only needs to cover a child’s mouth and nose for drowning to occur, so ensure that the below water grid is not too far below.
Information on these products can be found at the links below.
There are many types of covers and most can be found searching the internet.
On the same layer of protection is the neighbours pond and stopping your children from wandering outside the confines of your garden. This can be achieved by ensuring your gates have adequate locks out of reach of children's hands and that they have some form of alarm. We sell gate alarms both warn you if your child opens the gate while you are not there. One sounds at the gate its self and the other sounds an alarm inside the house. They are very easy to fit and take no skill, all you need is a screw driver and a solid gate to fit it to, the gate can be metal or wooden and can be a full size or half size gate. There are other forms of gate alarms on the market and they are all very easy to fit and do not cost a great deal of money.
Another layer of protection is the immersion alarm, this is a type of alarm that warns you if your child falls into water, they are used mainly to safeguard children when around a pool environment. This however does not mean you can't use it to safeguard your children around a pond, they both contain water and in the UK more children drown in ponds that in swimming pools.
The device is worn by the child and if the child falls into the pond it will set of an alarm inside the house. The one we sell is the best on the market, the Safety Turtle is used all around the world assisting parents in combating the dangers of children drowning.
The last layer of protection is not really a layer, it is what you need to know and carry out if all your layers fail and your child is in a drowning situation.
CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation ) This can be the difference between life and death for your child who has stopped breathing, this page will not explain what you need to do. Only training will tell you how to react to a near drowning experience and this might not be your child, grand parents and other members of the family should know CPR. Get properly trained and then teach your family and friends how to carry out CPR, you never know when you might need it.
The Red Cross www.redcrossfirstaidtraining.co.uk )carry out CPR training as do many companies all of which can be found on the internet.
The above information is about looking after your children when around water, when on holiday you never let them out of your sight, but once back at home we some times let our defences down and that is when accidents can happen. Kids treat the garden as one big holiday park and so should you, so never let them out of your sight and make sure you have adequate layers of protection.