As the weather starts to warm up, so does the urge to jump into that glorious backyard pool that you worked so hard to pay for. Recently we heard of the tragic news of three near-drownings on the Gold Coast over the Labour Day long weekend, reaffirming the need for supervision and a safe environment around pool areas.
So, how do we keep our backyard swimming pools safe? There are many options available to help parents keep their swimming pool safe. These include:
– Comply with regulations: Use a reputable company such as Narellan Pools which is certified and qualified to install your in-ground pool and offer you a warranty. Regulations also state that your pool must be fenced with an adequate self-closing gate, and you must have a CPR poster hanging on your pool fence. The regulations of installing a pool and fence can slightly vary from state to state, so ensure you research the requirements of your specific area with your local council if you are unsure.
– Be aware of obstructions to your view: Despite what people think, drowning is a very quiet process. It is very rare in a backyard swimming pool that there will be splashing or any noise, this is why it is imperative when installing your pool and designing your surrounding landscape that there are no visual obstructions to your pool. Your eyes are your best prevention from drowning. You need to be able to see the full length of your pool from your outdoor area and minimise plants, furniture, and outdoor sculptures that are either obstructing your view or adding an obstacle to you getting into the pool area quickly. Also, be aware of large flotation toys that can obstruct views and act as a lid on top of a child stuck underwater.
– Ensure all outdoor and pool furniture is kept away from the pool fence: It doesn’t take much for a child to drag a nearby chair over to the pool gate to let themselves in. In addition to ensuring your outdoor furniture is a good distance away from the fence, speak to your children about the dangers of going into the pool area unsupervised and give them some ownership of being safe and responsible.
– Don’t assume your child is safe from drowning: It doesn’t matter how strong a swimmer your child is, things can happen which could cause a potential drowning. Large inflatable toys can prevent them from getting to the surface, slipping on the edge of the pool, or diving in the shallow end can all be hazardous. The best tool is supervision. Watch the kids in the pool and really watch them – no phones, no TVs, just watch your children.
– Know CPR: If the worst does eventuate and your child or someone else’s child has to be revived, it is imperative you know how to administer CPR effectively and calmly. Look up a local First Aid training school and sign up for a First Aid refresher aid course. Some of them are only a few hours long but can be enough to give you the tools to save someone’s life.