The Top 7 Tips for Designing a Child-Friendly Swimming Pool

Swimming pools are natural magnets for kids. Children, particularly younger ones, are automatically drawn to and would love nothing better than swimming, splashing, and playing around in these water features for hours.

Once you have a pool in your yard, this will become your children’s constant playground that other kids in your neighborhood will likely frequent.

Swimming Pool Concrete Pouring height below 1m
Swimming Pool

Since kids are likely the most frequent users of your swimming pool, your top priority when designing one is to ensure it is safe. It should be a water playground that gives children endless hours of fun, and adults, peace of mind, at the same time.

The pool should meet your requirements as well since you’ll want to use it, too.

Having a pool that meets all these requirements can pose a challenge. One of the reputable swimming pool companies in Dubai can help you come up with a design and build the actual feature that is safe for everyone to use.

Designing the Perfect Swimming Pool for Kids

Below are some tips and ideas for designing a child-friendly swimming pool:

1.     Choose your paving materials wisely.

Kids can get excited quickly when they see a swimming pool, which they will show by running and jumping around the deck.

Their boisterous actions can cause them to slip and fall and get injured.

You can avoid this accident by choosing a paving material for the deck and poolside that doesn’t get slippery when wet. Natural stones, such as coral stone and bluestone, are great options for creating a slip-free surface around the pool.

It is best to opt for tiles or a smooth stone design for the pool bottom since they won’t hurt your children’s tender feet.

However, choose a material that is not too slippery to prevent slips and falls inside the pool that can also cause serious injury to young children.

2.     Avoid sharp edges in the design.

Many swimming pool designs come with sharp edges and corners. Although these sleek lines look great, they are not kid-friendly or safe.

Incorporate rounded edges and softer corners in your swimming pool since they are safer in an environment where children are not too careful about playing in and splashing around.

Also, when choosing your coping (the protective cap at the top of the pool’s wall) material, ensure it is slip-resistant. Try to choose one that does not absorb heat from the sun quickly as well.

3.     Create a sizable shallow end.

The pool’s depth plays an important factor in keeping your children safe.

A child-friendly swimming pool must have an extensive shallow end to give young children plenty of space to play and splash while keeping their heads above the water with their feet on the bottom.

It should also allow several children to swim and play together safely without going into the pool’s deep end.

The depth of most shallow ends of family swimming pools is close to three feet, which is comfortable and safe enough for most young children. However, make sure you discuss this with your builder since some pool designs do not have a shallow end or are not spacious enough to allow several kids to stay in at a time.

4.     Consider adding a tanning ledge to the pool.

A tanning ledge or sun shelf is a pool feature perfect for both kids and adults and gives your outdoor space a Caribbean paradise vibe.

Also known as a beach entry, the tanning ledge is a shallow shelf on one side of the pool where toddlers and younger children can swim, splash, and play.

You can have this part of the pool outfitted with jets or fountains to entertain and give your little ones something to play with.

Consider installing a couple of loungers and sun umbrellas on the tanning ledge so that you have a place where you can relax as you watch your kids play and splash in the pool.

You can also stay in this spot whenever you want to hang out in your pool and enjoy a refreshing, healthy drink.

5.     Install a slide.

If you want your swimming pool to be the ultimate water playground for your kids, include a slide in the design.

However, be careful about choosing the design, style, and material for your water slide. You have to ensure it is safe for your children and works with the overall aesthetic of your pool.

Speak with your builder to find a slide designed specifically for swimming pool use. It should meet established weight requirements and safety standards so that it won’t be a hazard in your yard.

6.     Add a jump rock to the design.

Many older kids and teens want a diving board in the pool area. If you are hesitant about getting this feature, consider having dive rocks installed instead.

Most kids today prefer jumping off large rocks instead of from a diving board since they can let their imagination and creativity run wild.

Additionally, unlike a diving board, dive rocks do not have a spring action, the part that accelerates and intensifies a person’s jump.

Because of this, the user’s force and height of leap are limited. They will not be propelled too far out over the pool and when they enter the water, they will not submerge deeply.

This less exciting, tamer entry into the pool can be safer for older kids and teens.

If you want this feature installed in your pool, ensure the jump rock is installed at the deep end with a depth of at least seven feet and six inches. You have to discuss this with your builder.

7.     Don’t forget the additional safety features.

Lastly, you need to have some important safety features installed in and around your swimming pool to prevent accidents from happening in this area.

Have a fence installed around your pool to keep young children from going in unattended.

If you think a fence will make your swimming pool less attractive, ask your builder about materials and designs you can use to create an appealing enclosure that is also secure. 

Additionally, consider investing in smart home technology to keep your pool area safe for younger kids.

Security cameras with motion sensors are great features to invest in since they can alert you of unexpected movement or activity in the pool area.

You can also invest in an automatic pool cover that you can connect to your smartphone or tablet so that you can close it even if you’re inside your home or somewhere else when no one is using it.

Designing and building a kid-friendly pool requires careful planning. Taking note of these tips can help you get you on the right track in creating a water feature that everyone will love and be safe and comfortable in, regardless of their age.


Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors and Civils Division.