Some people build a pool in their yard for the sole purpose of exercise. Others dream of having their own personal getaway or a place to host unforgettable parties with friends. However, it seems the majority of those looking to install a pool are families—particularly families with young children that want to teach their children to swim and make memories. Designing a kid-friendly pool opens a whole new world of considerations, choices, and possibilities. To help you build a pool that you and your kids can safely enjoy, we review what you need to consider when designing your family swimming pool.
Almost every pool has a deep and a shallow end, but how you design your shallow end is something to consider. You can either have a shallow drop with entry steps or a slope that gradually gets deeper, much like you’d see at a beach. Your choice depends on how familiar or comfortable your children are with the pool. Children that are unfamiliar with the water can benefit from larger shallow areas. This way, they’ll have plenty of space to play and explore until they’re more comfortable.
One of the themes you’ll see throughout this article is injury prevention. There’s no way to stop your little ones from getting a bit wild at times. While you may feel tempted to design a geometric pool with sleek lines and sharp corners, you increase the risk of someone injuring themselves while splashing around. Instead, consider designing a rounder pool with softer edges so that you don’t have to worry as much when the kids get rowdy. If you really want sharper edges, consider putting them on the deeper end of the pool, where the kids will be less likely to swim on their own.
Sitting ledges are platforms that protrude from a pool wall and are typically about two to three feet deep and a foot wide. These may not seem like a necessary addition, but they’re incredibly essential for little guppies still learning how to swim. These ledges give them a safe space to swim to if they get tired. This also helps kids learn how to pull themselves out of the water and gives them a place to go to if they fall in. Plus, you can install a sitting ledge around the pool’s perimeter for extra safety.
Tanning ledges are similar to sitting ledges, but they only go from about nine to twelve inches deep. As the name suggests, you can use them to soak up the sun, but they also give kids a shallow place to play. Why choose a tanning ledge over a sitting ledge? Neither is really better than the other, per se. But if you want a place to tan, it comes with the added benefit of keeping your kids safe. Plus, it’s a great place for the adults to kick back and relax while watching over the little ones.
There are a number of pool step styles to choose from, but a family-friendly pool should always have some sort of staircase with a railing. Steps are great for young children who are still learning how to kick their feet or don’t want to leave their parent’s arms yet. You can also incorporate a lounging area to take care of two birds with one stone. Also, consider installing pool railings that have nonslip covers or aren’t metal. Nothing’s worse than bumping into metal on a hot day.
Slides, diving boards, and volleyball nets are all fun additions you and your kids can enjoy. However, it’s important to work closely with your installer to ensure they set up these additions with safety in mind. For example, before you install a diving board, you must check that your pool meets the proper depth requirement. On the other hand, the end of a slide needs to drop off in the middle of the pool so that no one hits the bottom. If you’re uncomfortable with your kids being around a pool that deep, these additions may not be right for you.
Your children will spend their time around the shallow end, so they’re the ones that are going to come into contact with your pool’s bottom surface most often. Keep in mind that the more time spent in the water, the softer the skin becomes. This means you may want to choose a smoother material that won’t cause scrapes. Materials like vinyl, fiberglass, tile, and quartz will give your pool a smooth finish that isn’t rough on hands and won’t catch on bathing suits.
The material around your pool is just as important as the material that makes up the surface of your pool. Also, no matter how much you tell your little ones not to run around the pool, they’re bound to do it at some point. Ideally, you’ll want a nonslip decking material that won’t get too hot or scrape water-softened feet. Tile, wood, and smooth stones are all great options that will keep your kids safe.
Retractable Cover and Pool Fencing
If you want to make your pool as safe and kid friendly as possible, retractable covers and pool fencing are safety must-haves. These features prevent children from getting into the pool unsupervised or falling in accidentally. Today’s smart home technology allows you to open and close your pool cover from your phone with the click of a button. You can also install an alarm system on the gate to ensure no one’s jumping in without your approval.
Ultimately, the main thing you need to consider when designing your family swimming pool is how familiar your children are with the water. No matter how many safety features you install, the main goal should be to teach them how to act in and around the pool, as well as how to swim. The best way to keep them free from harm is to be present.
As one of the top pool contractors in Houston, we dedicate ourselves to bringing your vision to life. Let us help you design and build a pool that won’t just keep your kids safe but will give them memories they’ll look fondly on for the rest of their lives.