A pool is a great place to relax, entertain friends, cool down in the summer or have fun with your kids. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely dangerous. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, young children are at the greatest risk of drowning. Of these, most of the drownings in home pools occurred when children wandered or fell into the pool, not while they were swimming.
Five Safety Tips for Home Pools
1.) Make sure that your pool is enclosed with a gated fence as required by law in all States and Territories. Be sure the fence has no vertical gaps wide enough to crawl through, and choose a design that will be difficult to climb. Keep the gate closed and locked at all times when not in use. A curious child, even a very young one, has an easy time figuring out how to open an unlock gate. To maximize your fence’s safety, be sure that the gate opens away from the pool so it will not swing open if leaned against. Also place the latch more than 1.5m from the ground to keep it out of reach of children.
2.) Keep the area around the pool’s fence clear. Inside the fence, remove any items that could be tripped over or create a falling hazard. Outside the fence, clear away any items that could be used to climb over the fence, such as furniture. Also be sure to secure all pool aids and toys in an out-of-the-way place.
3.) Maintain constant supervision of all children whenever they’re in or around the pool. This means maintaining constant visual contact with the children and staying within an arm’s reach of them. Seventy percent of toddler drownings occur when the parent or caretaker is inattentive. Don’t let your children play in the pool while you do chores or nap, and never leave children in charge of watching younger siblings without adult supervision.
4.) Learn to recognize the signs of drowning. Real-life drowning victims don’t generally flail around or call out the way they do on television. A body’s physiological response to drowning is to remain upright, with arms and legs motionless or extended to the sides in an attempt to keep above water. If you call out to someone and don’t get a response, assume that he may be drowning. It takes as few as 20 seconds for a child to become submerged after this point.
5.) Learn CPR. You can take a CPR class from Royal Life Saving in numerous places across the country, and it will only take a few hours to learn this life-saving skill. Even if you do know CPR, though, you’ll still need to call for help immediately. A trained professional will have the skills and experience necessary to save a life.
Following these tips will help ensure that you and your family stay safe while enjoying fun in the water. Not only will these skills protect your children, they will also keep the other kids in your neighborhood safe.
Jamie is a gardening enthusiast who loves to work with client on their backyard facelift project ranging from designing herb garden to building retaining walls in Brisbane homes. Like most other Aussies, Jamie loves to spend his weekends in the backyard with his beautiful wife, three boys and a golden retriever.