Need Pool Alarm ... Any Advice?

Updated on July 08, 2008
E.O. asks from San Jose, CA
7 answers

Does anybody have any recommendations for a good pool alarm? Similarly, if you have a product you know I should steer clear of, I would love the input!

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answers from Fresno on

I can't really say that any type of a pool alarm is going to help when it comes down to it. My son drowned in our pool in our back yard and it only took a few minutes. Alarms may help "alert" when the child falls into the pool, but if you are out of range of hearing this alarm, it does not do very much good. If the child is in the pool, it doesn't take very long for them to inhale enough water to cause damage. There are many things that I wish I could have done differently in my situation but I didn't. I would have put the lock for the slider leading out to the backyard, much higher, out of reach of children. Instead of putting the alarm on the pool, it would've been better to put the alarm on the house, alerting me when the door is opened, before he got to the pool at all. Now, today I still suffer the loss of my only son. He was 18 months old. My suggestion is to do something with your home, rather then with the pool itself. I hope that this helps anyone.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

Hi E.,

We have a pool right outside our back doors with no fence around it (the fence is around the entire backyard, but not just around the pool itself). We have a 4 yo just learning to swim, with younger children of friends and relatives regularly in our home. So it was important to us to have a safety system we could rely on.

We have a pool alarm that goes in the water and detects waves. But many times the house and yard are full of kids, the pool in intermittently being used, and it's not practical to put the alarm in and out of the water constantly.

So we also use personal immersion alarms. These are locking bracelets that you place on kids wrists which set off an alarm if immersed in water. They just work great. You strap it on the crawling babies and the nonswimming toddlers. Now the older kids can be free to use the pool and the parents can actually relax a bit and talk without fear that they'll look away for a moment and tragedy occur.

Also if company is over and they have a nonswimming child, we just put on the bracelet as soon as they come in the door, so that everyone is safe.

Here's a link to the one we use. We bought several extra bracelets because of the number of kids at our house.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I agree with Meredith about the safety turtle. I think that is the best alarm out there because, whether the pool is in use by others or not, your child will always sound an alarm if they fall in. You can get it online and also at pool supply stores, like Leslie.

Others suggested a gate, but I would not go that route. My nephew was only two when he pushed a chair up against my sister's pool gate and climbed over. If the kids want to get in, they will, no matter how high a gate.

We have a net over our pool when it's not in use. It's called katchakid, and it is absolutely wonderful. You can check it out online at My son fell on it when he was one, and it totally held him up. Scared him quite a bit, but it worked wonderfully. His hands and feet went through and the rest of him stayed up until I reached out and got him. It's a little of a pain to put on and off if you use your pool a lot, but I personally think it's totally worth it. That and the turtle alarm and you are good to go.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi E.,

I have a pool. I do not have an alarm. I have physical barriers instead which make me feel a bit more secure than an alarm. As one mom pointed out, by the time you hear and respond to the alarm, it might be too late. My mom has alarms on her doors, not the water, for the same reason. The challenge with them is: do you turn them off when the kids are in bed and you're going in and out? If so, do you remember to turn them back on?

First, I have a fence that blocks off the pool. One mom mentioned using a chair to climb over the fence. Easy solution, move the chairs and anything a child might use to climb over. The gate, which is self closing, has two latches and we lock it with a combination lock since my daughter learned how to open the gate. You can find fence standards for pool safety online and also at your local planning and building department.

Second, the two doors that access the patio have pin-locks at the top of them. There is a whole drilled in the top of my sliders that a "pin" is inserted into. This prevents anyone from opening the door. You can find these at the hardware store near the door latches and hinges.

Thirdly, we teach pool safety and respect and have a zero tolerance policy. We do not run around the pool (you can trip and fall in). Children are not to put anything in the pool or take anything out (the #1 way kids fall into pools). We do not play on the pool deck, ever. Our play structure is out near the pool, so when I open the gate, especially when we're having a play date, I remind all the children about the rules. I make sure my children follow these rules at other people's houses too.

BTW: We are fairly easy going parents. We are incredibly uptight and strict when it comes to the pool. We are looking forward to taking down the fence someday as it will enhance the view. Until then, we want to keep our kids safe. Our kids are 3 and 5. We'll have the fence probably until the day they can both climb over it unaided.

Good luck and happy swimming!



answers from Sacramento on

I recommend not only an alarm, but a gate. My parents have a pool which they gated after my 2 year old wandered out to the edge by himself. An alarm will not keep a child from falling in just let you know they did. My parents also added an alarm to the sliding glass door since they keep the door open with a screen. They know if he has gone in the backyard.



answers from Portland on

Hi E. I myself do not have a pool but my brother in law does and he has a 2year old daughter. They found a wonderful pool alarm on the website I have ordered stuff from them before and have not been disappointed so check it out. It is a magazine also that you can order and it is free. Good luck.

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