Whether you already have your own swimming pool, are planning to have one installed over the coming months, or will be heading to community pools, you will probably be out splashing in the water at some point over the summer. Without the proper precautions, however, swimming can turn dangerous fast. Even experienced swimmers can get into trouble if unprepared, and the risks are amplified significantly when children are involved. Drowning accounts for nearly four-hundred thousand deaths worldwide every year, which puts it in the top 3 causes of accident or injury-related fatalities.
At Narellan Pools, we pride ourselves on the quality of our pools and workmanship, but our care and attention don’t stop there. We want everybody to be able to enjoy their summer swimming activities without incident, so read on to find out our top tips for remaining safe around the pool this summer.
Lessons and Training — Ensuring that everybody that has access to the pool is properly trained in the risks and dangers associated with swimming and water activities. Arrange some swimming lessons for children (and adults) as early as possible. Even babies as young as one-years-old can receive lessons in flotation, with swimming lessons suitable for ages four and up. It’s also important to make sure all the adults know how to swim; not everybody does, and it’s not something to be embarrassed about. Most local community pools will have classes available suitable for all ages.
Supervision — Even when everybody knows how to swim and how to act around water safety, it’s still best to have constant supervision of your pool and surrounding area. This is especially important when dealing with children and pets, but applies to adults as well. Always aim to have a minimum of two people present when swimming or playing around the pool.
Seconds Matter — In a potential drowning situation, seconds can be the difference between life and death. If somebody (especially a child) is unaccounted for, the pool is the first place to check. If you come across somebody in trouble in the water, getting them to safety in a timely manner is important, but don’t endanger yourself in the process — jumping straight in will risk injury and possibly end up with two people in distress. Take swift but safe action.
It’s also a good idea to arrange first aid and CPR/AED training for at least one person in the household; the minutes waiting until professional help arrives is crucial.
Hydration — It’s important to stay properly hydrated when out in the summer heat. It can be deceiving when you’re keeping cool by swimming or playing in the water, but you still need to be consuming adequate amounts of liquids. Be sure to prompt children regularly, as they may not be aware of the signs of dehydration. Also, avoid alcoholic beverages before swimming, and take extra care when consuming them in the vicinity of the pool. Finally, avoid glass containers that could break and cause nasty injuries to bare feet.
Construction and Safety Features — By law, all pools in Australia must be surrounded by a fence. Be sure to check your local council for fencing requirements. Check fences and gates are still secure and don’t need any repairs.
Additionally, check things like access ladders (for secure attachment and exposed bolts), anti-slip coverings, guard rails, tiles (for sharp edges or cracks), and the pool itself for any wear and tear that may need to be addressed.