Summertime is all about making happy memories, and for those fortunate enough to have access to a above ground pool, many special moments are made splishing and splashing poolside! But, there are hidden dangers around the swimming pool, and it’s vital that all appropriate safety precautions are taken. Here we take you through some of the best ways to keep your children safe around the pool this summer.
It is an Australian legal requirement that all private pools and spas are fenced in accordance with the legislation. This includes restrictions on fence height and child safety locks. It is important to teach children that pool fences are only to be opened by a supervising adult. Ensure that pool fences are securely closed AT ALL TIMES, including while children are swimming – so that younger children or pets do not accidentally access the pool area.
Check the surroundings
Pools usually require chemicals and equipment to help maintain the water quality. It’s important to keep all chemicals, hoses and other objects out of reach of children. When the pool is in use, remove anything that children could become tangled in, and keep pool decks clean and clutter-free to avoid tripping hazards.
Children must only ever swim under the supervision of a responsible adult. Adults should actively supervise children at all times, which means eyes should never leave sight of swimmers. Avoid distractions such as phones, reading material or momentary absences, e.g. answering the door or using the bathroom. Supervisors must be over 16 years of age, and children under the age of five must be within arms’ reach at all times.
During social occasions, it is very easy to become distracted by conversation. Sadly, drownings can still occur when there are a number of adults present. Unfortunately, it’s easy to feel as though children are sufficiently supervised when surrounded by adults, however, unless a designated adult is actively watching the children (even strong swimmers), tragedies can happen.
Be up to date on First Aid
We strongly recommend that parents and carers participate in a first aid course to learn paediatric CPR and general first aid strategies in case of an emergency. Stay up to date by refreshing your CPR skills annually and your general first aid skills every three years.
Teach water awareness
The Aussie lifestyle is centred around water, so it’s crucial that children learn water awareness from a young age. In infancy, children can build their water awareness skills with simple water play, bathtime fun, books, songs and gentle instruction of water safety rules.
Swimming lessons and water safety lessons are strongly recommended for all children. Contact your local aquatic centre to find a suitable class for your child. Baby swim lessons will help build your child’s confidence in the water, experiencing water immersion and learning safety strategies such as floating, turning around and reaching for the edge of the pool. These strategies save lives.
For older children, water safety education includes:
- Learning about water depth.
- Interpreting rips in oceans and rivers.
- Diving safety.
- Never running around a pool area
- How to flag for help if you find yourself in trouble in the water.
Use pool toys as instructed
Pool toys such as lilos and pool noodles can add so much fun to pool time. They can also be dangerous when not used in accordance with their instructions and under strict adult supervision at all times. Children may find themselves trapped under large pool floats with obstructed access to the water’s surface. Noodles and other floatation devices may create a false sense of security. Always maintain proximity to young children and early swimmers, and always keep active supervision on all swimmers, even when using floatation aids and toys in the pool.
Following these safety guidelines will help ensure that your summer is filled with happy memories and your family and friends stay safe around the pool. Affordable Pools helpful and friendly staff are here to help you create a safe and fun pool setting. Contact us today to get your safe summer play underway!