September 23, 2020
Is Your Home Pool Defence Set for Summer? Guest Blog by Matt Welsh

This year has been like no other, with COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns having an unprecedented impact across the country.

Now that spring is here, we can happily wave goodbye to the winter chill and look forward to those long, warm summer days that will be here before we know it. Hopefully those days will be spent outdoors with family and friends enjoying BBQ’s, holidays, camping and of course… swimming!

As an Olympic swimmer, I have a great love for the water. I believe that pools and spas can be a great addition to any household – especially to help cool off on those hot summer days. However, I am also aware of the potential dangers that the water can poseparticularly for young children.

As a father of six young kids – including a newborn – I am a strong advocate for safety in and around the water for children of all ages.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death for children under 5 in Australia, with backyard swimming pools being the most common location for drowning incidents to occur.

Normally, many of us would be ferrying our kids around for multiple weekly swimming lessons, however, sadly for most of this year, many aquatic facilities have been closed and the kids have been unable to swim.

When the warmer weather arrives, chances are kids like mine will be more excited than ever to jump right back into the pool to have some fun. It’s also highly likely that many families will be spending more time at home around their backyards.

So, as we roll into this summer we need to ask ourselves – are our backyard pools and spas ready to be used safely?

Simply having a barrier around your pool or spa does not make it a safe space. Like many items around the home such as your car and even your heater, a regular service is necessary to ensure everything is still in working order. Your pool or spa barrier is no different.

In fact, a large number of swimming pool drownings incidents are as a result of faulty or non-compliant pool barriers.

To make sure your pool or spa barrier is still in good working condition – regular maintenance is necessary. Over time, the functionality of your barrier can be affected by the weather and general wear and tear.

This daylight saving, we’re encouraging everyone to set their home pool defence for the warmer months ahead by completing a safety check using the checklists available from the Victorian Building Authority – it only takes 15-20 minutes, and you might even save a life.

Remember, when it comes to backyard pool safety, the best offence is a good defence.

As well as having a pool or spa barrier that is regularly checked and maintained to ensure it is in proper working order, your backyard pool defence should also include active adult supervision of children in and around water, water familiarisation and first aid/CPR knowledge, to help keep your family safe this season.


Kidsafe’s Safe Barriers Save Lives campaign is proudly supported by The Victorian Government’s Play it Safe by the Water Committee, SPASA Victoria, Safetech Hardware Australia and Protector Aluminium.


For more information on keeping you child safe around the water, take a look here