Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 6: Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation

6.3 Water Play Areas (Pools, Etc.)

6.3.1 Access to and Safety Around Bodies of Water Accessibility to Above-Ground Pools

Above-ground pools should have non-climbable sidewalls that are at least four feet high or should be enclosed with an approved fence, as specified in Standard (1,2). When the pool is not in use, steps should be removed from the pool or otherwise protected to ensure that they cannot be accessed.
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has estimated that each year about 300 children under five-years-old drown in swimming pools (3).
CPSC has published an illustrated guideline (Safety barrier guidelines for home pools) to explain barriers around and access to home swimming pools (3). The document is available online at
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Enclosure of Bodies of Water
  1. ASTM International (ASTM). 2008. Standard guide for fences for residential outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas. ASTM F1908-08. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM.
  2. ASTM International (ASTM). 2009. Standard guide for fences/barriers for public, commercial, and multi-family residential use outdoor play areas. ASTM F2049-09b. West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM.
  3. U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Safety barrier guidelines for home pools. Pub. no. 362. Washington, DC: CPSC.