Although we talk a lot about pond and watergarden care, it would be a mistake to not talk about the potential hazards that lurk in any small pond. This article reminds us not to take safety for granted in and around the water.
Did you know that every year over 830 children 14 and under die as a result on unintentional drowning? In addition, children suffer around 3,600 injuries each year because of a near-drowning incident.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children aged 1 to 4 and aged 10 to 14. Although the most common place for drowning to occur is in swimming pools, home ponds also pose a serious risk. Even a very shallow pond can be a danger; young kids can drown in as little as two inches of water.
Every pond owner should always have pond safety in mind, whether they have kids of their own or not. If they are used in the correct way, grids and nets can provide an adequate safety system that will allow people to enjoy the garden and admire the garden pond, without fear of having an accident.
To ensure pond safety, there are a few steps you can take.
Erecting a fence around the pond helps keep kids away from it, and growing plants around the pond edges can also act as a barrier. A pond that has gently sloping edges is safer than one with a sudden drop into the water. A small pond may be covered with some sort of safety grid or net that sits just below the surface of the water.
It is crucial to buy a reputable model that is guaranteed not to dip below the surface of the water if it has the weight of a child on top of it. It is also important to make sure it can be secured so that a young child is not able to crawl underneath it and fall into the water. Many types of safety covers are available to buy, or you could fashion your own from steel mesh and heavy duty wood trellises, but make sure you are confident in your construction abilities so that you have the peace of mind that your safety cover will do the job.
Other pond safety precautions to take concern electrical and chemical safety. If you are using electric filters, pumps or lighting you need to make sure they are correctly installed and checked on a regular basis.
Illuminating the pond at night makes it safer, however you must make sure all cables and equipment is kept in proper working order. As soon as a fault is detected, the appropriate repair or replacement should be carried out. Circuit breakers are recommended to help prevent potentially fatal accidents. When it comes to pond chemicals, make sure you follow the instructions provided and keep kids away from the pond until it is safe.
The best advice for garden pond safety is to educate your kids. Make sure they are aware of the potential dangers of the pond, and always supervise youngsters if they are playing around the pond area. It is also important to have suitable safety features in place, however, as young people cannot always be relied upon to listen to advice.