There was a time when a diving board was about the most exotic feature you could add to an inground swimming pool. But these days, pool owners have a mind-blowing assortment of options to choose from – including many that were once reserved for water parks and resorts. Take inground pool slides, which were once rare but are becoming an increasingly common sight in the backyards of ordinary pool owners. For many people – especially those with children – a pool slide has become a must-have feature for any home swimming pool.
There’s a downside, though. As with diving boards, there are safety issues associated with pool slides. People can fall from the top of the ladder, or slide off the edge. Inflatable pool slides come additional risks – they can deflate or blow over, potentially causing serious injury. This fact was tragically proven by the recent recall of Banazi water slides due to the death of a young woman in Colorado.
While safety is the paramount concern, another downside of swimming pool slides is price. A high quality fiberglass slide can cost thousands of dollars. Having a slide can also increase your insurance costs due to the additional potential for accidents. Finally, to accommodate a slide, you may need a wider or deeper pool than you would otherwise want – and that, too, will obviously cost you extra.
If you’re looking for an inground pool slide, it’s important to think safety first. Instead of searching for the best pool slide you can afford, focus on finding the best safe pool slide you can afford. Some safety features to look for include:
- An enclosed ladder and/or slide
- Slip-resistant ladder steps
- Slip-resistant handrails
- Good quality construction
If you get a pool slide, you should also consider installing alarms on any doors or gates leading to the pool area, so you know when you have an unexpected visitor before they get anywhere close to the slide. Also, when deciding where to place the slide, think about putting it somewhere you can easily see from your house. But most of all, never let children use the slide without a grownup present. While there are plenty of products to help you secure your pool, the best defense against accidents is often plain old common sense and adult supervision.