Summer has arrived and the holidays are just around the corner, which means spending time relaxing and celebrating with family and friends. Before the festivities can start, there are a lot of things to cross off of your holiday checklist – organising presents, food, and holiday plans are often top of the list, however what about setting your home pool defence?
This summer, we are reminding parents and carers that when it comes to backyard pool safety, ‘the best offence is a good defence’. You don’t have to have the tactical nous of a professional sports coach or a lineup of big strong defenders to form a solid home pool defence – there are a few key things we can all do to ensure our defence is in place and ready to keep children safe:
- Active adult supervision: children need to be actively supervised by an adult at all times when in and around water – for toddlers, this means having an adult within arms’ reach. At busy pool parties and BBQ’s, it can often be easy to think that someone else is watching the kids when in fact, nobody is. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have designated supervisors whose role it is to watch the kids in and around water – this role can be shared throughout the day so that everyone has a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.
- A compliant pool barrier: simply having a barrier around your pool or spa is not enough on its own to keep children safe. A large number of swimming pool drowning incidents are a result of faulty or non-compliant pool barriers. Common faults or non-compliance issues include gates/doors that are no longer self closing or self latching, gates that are propped open, climbable objects near the barrier (e.g. pot plants, BBQ’s, outdoor furniture etc.) and excess space under the barrier. To make sure your pool or spa barrier is still in good working condition, regular inspections and maintenance are necessary.
- Water awareness: water familiarisation and swimming lessons are an important part in introducing children to water, explaining water safety and building their confidence and skills.
- First aid/CPR knowledge: undertaking a first aid course is recommended for all parents and carers. Hopefully they are skills that you will never have to use, however undertaking a course will help you to be prepared if the worst does happen. It’s also a good idea to have a CPR/first aid sign in your pool or spa area as a reminder.
By taking the time to plan and set your home pool defence, you can help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy summer holiday period.
For more information on our ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ backyard pool safety campaign, and to access a comprehensive home pool safety assessment tool from Life Saving Victoria, please visit https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/water-safety/pool-fence-safety.