Summer. For many, that means plenty of time in the pool.
And whether you’re staying at a BIG4 park or at home, there are a few critical safety messages to be across.
So, we're sharing these vital pool safety tips to help protect families across Australia these summer holidays.
Whether your child can swim or not, it is essential that someone is supervising children at all times when they’re near or in a pool, or anywhere else around water. This is the case whether you are at a home with a pool, at a public pool, or staying at a BIG4 park.
Kids are naturally curious, and if they are near the water’s edge, they can easily lose their balance and fall in. To ensure there is someone watching your kids at all times, you can always nominate a ‘responsible pool person’ and take turns sharing the load.
As part of this, it is vital that eyes are on children constantly and parents are free from distraction – i.e. mobile phones. A joint 2019 study by UNSW Sydney, James Cook University, and Royal Life Saving Society found a clear link between a lapse in supervision and child drownings.
A survey by Choice found that more than 50% of Australian pool fences that were tested did not meet the Australian safety standards for pool fencing. So what safety standards does your pool need to meet? Critically, they focus on pool fence heights and the size of the gaps within slatted fences. These measurements can vary from state to state – links to further resources are available at the bottom of this article.
In addition, it is advised that you remove climbable objects near the pool fence. Items such as chairs, tables, pot plants, trees, and more can act as a ladder for young kids.
This goes for inside the pool area too, as kids can reach and pull items through to get a foothold on.
There are several safety requirements for your pool gate that you may not be aware of. To keep your pool area as safe as possible, ensure the pool gate is:
It is important to look beyond the pool gate and fence when it comes to pool safety.
Swimming is a huge part of Australian culture. Many families spend their weekends swimming in public or backyard pools. If a child falls into the pool and they don’t know how to swim, they could be in serious danger.
Teaching your children to swim will keep them fit and healthy, help them burn energy, and build their confidence around water. It will also help to make your holiday more pleasant if your kids are able to enjoy the water with you.
Please stay safe this summer, particularly whenever you and your family are around water.