Koi ponds add beauty to any outdoor space. But some parents worry: are fish ponds safe for kids?
It’s a conversation that’s definitely important. Here are some things to consider.
Pond depth and construction
How the pond is built can make a big difference. Koi pond purists might tell you the pond needs to be five or six feet deep. In that case, a pond could obviously be a hazard. It would require fencing, just like a pool.
However, that sort of depth isn’t necessary. The ponds we build at Good Earth Water Gardens are rarely deeper than two feet – and the koi thrive. There’s no evidence a shallow pond hurts the health of fish. Plus, a shallower pond has a number of benefits:
- The pond looks nicer because you can see the gravel at the bottom.
- Water quality is better and easier to maintain.
- It’s safer for kids who are drawn to the water.
Not only is the deepest part of our ponds only two feet, but the construction design includes shelves. These are like steps down to the bottom of the pond. So, the area around the perimeter of the pond is usually only six to 15 inches deep. If a child does get in the water, they would be able to get out pretty easily – even if they end up in the deepest part of the pond.
We don’t know of any building codes that require fencing around a water feature that’s two feet or less deep. That’s an indication that these ponds are relatively safe.
That being said, we certainly advise parental supervision, especially with very small kids. But our experience is that children ages 3 and up do well around ponds. You just have to control the rock throwing!
You have to consider rock climbing, too. That’s why when we construct a pond, we make sure that the larger rocks on the side of the pond are secure and suitable for walking and climbing on. Of course, caution is always a good idea. These rocks aren’t usually mortared in place. They can also be slick when wet.
A koi pond for the entire family
A koi pond is a wonderful outdoor classroom. Kids can learn about nature and all the processes that are taking place in the pond ecosystem. They can see lots of different insects, birds, and other animals, not to mention the fish.
We love to watch kids around fish. They light up and get excited watching them swim around. Having a laboratory just out your back door is an incredible way to help your kids connect to their outside world – and get them away from a screen.
It is not an exaggeration to say that a koi pond will become a focal point for the entire family. People connect with water on many different levels. It’s an enriching experience that improves quality of life.
If you’re considering a koi pond and have children, research your options. The right pond design can bring joy to your family for years to come.
At Good Earth Water Gardens, we specialize in water features. You can find our ponds, streams, waterfalls, and fountains all around the Kansas City area. If you have questions about what water feature is right for your family, please email us or call 913-749-8090. We’re happy to visit with you about your choices.