Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for toddlers, according to the CDC. Without too much difficulty, I was able to find several examples of drownings with a common thread.

• Last June, a 3-year-old boy died in Arizona after he’d wandered into a pool area. His father had left him for a few minutes, not realizing the pool gate was open.

• In February, 2012, another 3-year-old boy drowned when he fell in a pool at his grandfather’s house in Florida. The pool had no fence around it, having been built before they were required.

• In March, 2012, a 2-year-old boy drowned in his family’s pool. The pool had no fence around it and the water was murky.

In all these cases, there was no barrier around the pool or a gate was left open by a family member. As pool service technicians, you’re the first line of defense for children. All the techs I know are very conscientious about closing the gates around their pools. But here’s a reminder to do it, even when you’re just headed out to the truck for a second to pick up a tool or part. 

And if you see a problem with a fence or gate, be sure to report it to the homeowner. If there are pools on your route that don’t have barriers, suggest to your client that they have one installed.