Our family vacation on Long Beach Island was great! After having weeks of rain since our son’s wedding the weekend after Memorial Day, our LBI vacation was especially enjoyable with 8 days of sunshine!


While on vacation, there was a potential disaster in the making back at our daughter’s house. Our oldest daughter and family stayed with us through Monday. They had planned on going home after dinner because her husband had to be at work the next day. Since Poppy was planning on going home to water flowers, etc., the plan changed. He drove our son-in-law home (only 25 minutes away) and Lori and kids were able to enjoy Long Beach Island another day.  After our son-in-law had been home for a short while, he heard a noise in the backyard.  He looked out and found a couple of neighborhood boys attempting to get the above ground pool gate open. Because our daughter still had one car in Long Beach Island, the boys thought no one was home. Their plan, obviously, was to enjoy a swim in the above ground pool. Luckily, our son-in-law thwarted their plan…I don’t think they’ll be back…ever! And, he’ll be buying a mesh safety cover, ASAP! No telling what might have happened if those boys got into the pool.

The lesson learned here is to not only, lock the gate to the pool and the yard but also put the pool cover on the above ground pool. If kids are determined to get in the pool, they’ll climb over the fence, jump the gate, or whatever way they can to get into an unsupervised pool if they believe they can get away with it. What they don’t realize is that “accidents” happen. As I tell my kids and grandchildren…”that’s why they call it an accident, it wasn’t planned.”  Kids don’t think about consequences before they act. They are impulsive. Unfortunately in the life often the test is given first and the lesson learned second. As soon as you put up an above ground pool, you must be conscious of your family’s safety and the safety of others, too.

Pool safety is something that I deeply worry about. Friends of ours had four children. One summer, the youngest fell in their pool and was not found until it was too late. It devastated their family.  We had an above ground pool for years which we surrounded with a locked chain link fence around the yard, a tall locked stockade fence around the pool, and a tightly tied pool cover on it when it wasn’t being used…and we took the ladder away.

For the summer, a mesh pool cover can easily be placed across the top of the above ground pool for safety, allowing the sun to continue to warm the water. An additional benefit is they also help with pool maintenance by keeping out debris. They aren’t difficult to put on. When you compare what might be thought of as an inconvenience with the potential safety hazard just waiting to happen without the pool cover, there is no question as to what must be done. Cover the pool and yourself!

The same goes for winter pool safety and maintenance. Purchasing winter pool covers can save you $$ in the end. By treating the water and covering up your pool for the winter, there are less headaches when it’s time to open the pool for the next summer. Neighbors of our daughter didn’t cover their large above ground pool over the winter and now can’t get it sparkling clean this summer. So far, it’s been very costly attempting to get the water to where they can enjoy the pool. By leaving the pool cover off, they were not only NOT protecting their young child but they were also NOT protecting themselves from a potential liability suit. They won’t do that again!  Remember, cover it!