As the summer holiday season is fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to enjoy a good splash in the pool to cool off and have fun.
Whilst it’s great to enjoy your time around a swimming pool, it is also important to ensure that you are aware of current pool safety requirements. To help you better understand the risks around swimming pools, we have prepared a list of six simple tips to make sure your children are as safe as possible this summer:
- NEVER leave small children unsupervised around a swimming pool. This is the most important and best way to ensure children are safe. It takes less than a minute for a small child to get into trouble in water.
- Check that the pool gate self-closes and self-latches from all positions at all times (from wide open to literally millimetres from the latch). Pool gates require regular maintenance to ensure the closing mechanisms are still working adequately, particularly after a period where the gates have not been used frequently.
- NEVER prop the gate open for any reason. A number of recent drownings have occurred due to gates being propped open while guardians garden or work around the pool. Pool gates are designed with the specific purpose to self-close and self-latch. If the gate is left wide open, it can allow children to access the pool zone and may potentially fall into the pool unsupervised.
- Ensure that there are no climbable objects/ steps on the outside of the pool barrier which may allow children to climb over the pool fence. This can include outdoor furniture, pot plants and planter boxes, cubby houses as well as trees that have grown over time. A minimum 900mm non-climbable zone is required to the outside of your barrier however also be mindful of these objects on the inside of the pool barrier. Gaps in the barrier may allow a small child to use these objects to climb over the fence.
- Do a quick perimeter check of the pool barrier looking for any gaps in or under the barrier that are greater than 100mm (10cm). Soil under the barrier can compact or erode over time creating inviting gaps that may allow a small child to enter the pool enclosure.
- Check that your pool barrier is as strong and secure as the day it was built. It is important that the pool barrier meets the strength/resistance requirements so that the fence cannot be forced open. Broken, weathered and unmaintained barriers can lead to weak spots in that can be forced open allowing a small child to enter the pool enclosure.
Remember, it is of the utmost importance that children are supervised by an adult at all times when in the pool zone to ensure that they are as safe as possible. However don’t let any of the above scare you away from letting your child in the water. The more they experience being in the water and learning how to swim, the less likely they will find themselves in trouble while swimming.
As always, if you feel you need any further advice, please don’t hesitate to call 9555 9511 and speak with a member of our friendly team!