How to Ensure Your Waterfront Home is Child Safe
Living by the water can be a dream come true for many. The calming sounds of waves, breathtaking sunsets, and instant access to water activities make waterfront homes highly sought after. However, for families with young children, the proximity to water can also bring about safety concerns. Here are some essential measures you can take to ensure your waterfront home is child-safe:
- Fencing and Gates:
Barrier Fencing: Install a fence that separates your property from the waterfront. Ensure it’s tall enough (at least 4 feet high) to prevent children from climbing over and has self-closing, self-latching gates.
Pool Fences: If you have a pool or hot tub, make sure there’s a separate fence around it, even if it’s near the waterfront. Children can drown in just a few inches of water.
- Door and Window Alarms:
Install alarms on all doors and windows leading to the waterfront. This will alert you if a child attempts to exit the house unnoticed.
- Flotation Devices:
Life Jackets: Ensure that there are life jackets that fit each child properly. Encourage children to wear them whenever they are near the water.
Throw Rings: Position them strategically around your property, so they are accessible in case of emergencies.
- Swimming Lessons:
Enroll your child in swimming lessons as early as appropriate. While this isn’t a foolproof solution, children who know how to swim are at a decreased risk for drowning.
Always supervise children when they’re near the water. It only takes a moment for a child to slip into the water unnoticed.
- Clear Visibility:
Trim bushes, trees, and other obstacles that block the view to the waterfront. This ensures you can always see the waterfront area clearly from your home.
- Dock Safety:
If your property includes a dock:
Ensure it’s in good repair with no loose boards or exposed nails.
Consider installing a gate at the entrance of the dock.
Teach children to always walk (not run) on the dock.
- Safety Drills:
Practice water safety drills with your children. This should include what to do if they fall into the water or see someone else in danger.
- CPR and First Aid:
Ensure that at least one family member or regular visitor to your home is certified in CPR and basic first aid.
- Clear Communication:
Discuss water safety rules with your children frequently. Make sure they understand the importance of these rules and the dangers associated with the water.
- Safe Play Areas:
Designate safe play areas for children that are away from the waterfront. This can reduce the allure of playing near the water unsupervised.
- Weather Awareness:
Waterfronts can be affected by sudden weather changes, leading to strong currents or unexpected waves. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and educate children about the dangers of storms and rough waters.
Owning a waterfront home comes with unmatched beauty and relaxation, but it’s vital to prioritize safety, especially with children around. By taking the precautions mentioned above and fostering a culture of water safety within your home, you can enjoy the serenity of waterfront living with peace of mind.