Having a swimming pool in the back yard is a great source of fun and exercise, but it’s essential that you follow proper safety precautions. Adopting a few simple rules will keep you and your loved ones safe, and prevent you from adding to one of the tragic but preventable pool injury statistics that occur every year.
There are several areas in which you can keep your family safe through alertness, preparation, as well as simply having the right equipment.
Keeping a watchful eye out and being immediately aware of any danger – especially with children – is a key aspect of pool safety.
- Always have an adult (not just another older child) keeping watch when children are swimming.
- Keep a phone near the pool at all times, in case you need to call for help urgently.
- If you notice a child is missing, check the pool or spa first – timing is critical in these situations.
- Make sure children, family, friends and neighbours are all well versed in pool safety rules and what to do if there’s an emergency.
Pool Safety Equipment
A huge part of the danger around pools is simply not having the right safety equipment.
- Install a fence that cannot be climbed by a child around the entire pool, and have the only access through self-latching gates that automatically close when left open. Keeping children away from the pool when they aren’t being supervised is absolutely crucial for pool safety.
- Choose a pool cover that is lockable and entirely prevents anyone from slipping in.
- Install pool and gate alarms that let you know when someone approaches the pool, particularly children.
- Keep drains and openings are sufficiently covered so that children don’t fall into them and become trapped.
- Keep a first aid kit on hand at all times, including scissors to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover, a flotation device and a charged phone.
Water Safety Skills
Knowing how to swim confidently as well as how to perform basic lifesaving techniques is essential.
- Ensure both you and your child know how to swim. Floatation devices and kickboards aren’t a substitute for swimming.
- Learn lifesaving basics such as CPR – being able to keep someone breathing until help arrives and spell the difference between life and death.
It’s the responsibility of any residential pool owner to ensure they follow basic but essential pool safety regulations. Children in particular need constant attention and supervision, and you should be prepared to act at a moment’s notice if needed to save a life.