Having a backyard pool is all a part of the ‘Great Australian Dream’ but injuries and deaths in home swimming pools remains one of the leading causes of death for children under 5 years old. Don’t let your family become a statistic with these easy tips for bolstering your home pool area safety.
- Remove any objects or plants that are easy to climb – While your pool area is an extension of your home and another living area for the family to enjoy, everyday items like pot plants, BBQs, ladders or chairs can quickly become boosters for small children to gain entry to the pool. When landscaping or adding pieces around the pool, think about removing items that could be climbed or moved closer to a pool gate, or moving them to another location.
- Eagle eyes – Keeping everyone safe and secure also means supervising at all times when children are in or near the water. It’s best to keep them at arm’s reach when supervising their swimming adventures. If you’re hosting a summer BBQ or pool party, consider designating one adult to supervise. And if you need to leave the pool area for any reason, take the kids with you!
- Invest in swimming lessons – Teaching children water safety and giving them confidence in and around water is invaluable and it could be the lessons that save their life. Set and enforce clear rules for behaviour when near any water – pool, spa or wading pool!
- Take a CPR course – Learning CPR is a life skill that can change the course of someone’s life in an emergency situation – in and out of the pool. Keep your first aid and CPR knowledge updated annually.
- Ensure your pool area is securely fenced – it is vital your pool set up meets your state’s current standards for pool barriers so children can’t gain access easily. Use this handy SPASA Australia check list to see if your pool and spa complies (this is for educational purposes only and does not substitute a professional inspection). A secure and compliant fence is essential, so make sure you build it to meet pool compliance requirements and is inspected by a pool barrier inspector. Though even a pool fence is not a substitute for supervision!
- Keep pool waters sparkling – It’s also important to keep your pool water healthy – either with a DIY maintenance program or a regular visit from a licenced pool maintenance company. Pool water left untreated can cause bacteria, viruses, algae to develop which can all cause illness in swimmers. Follow SPASA Australia’s top tips for regular pool maintenance and keep your pool water sparkling.
- Shore up slippery surfaces – Before diving in for a refreshing dip, check your outdoor or pool area for any sharp corners, slippery surfaces or any other unsuspecting hazards. And walk, never run around the pool area!
- Trim the bushes – It is a standard in most states that all pool areas have a no climb zone (NCZ). Make sure any trees or shrubs near the pool fence are trimmed and maintained regularly to avoid any climbable branches that could give a child or young person easy access over the fence. This will also help with keeping any leaves or other foliage out of your pool water.
- Sign up – While not mandatory in every state, it is better to be safe than sorry and ensure your pool area has a resuscitation chart and one or two ‘No Diving’ signs placed prominently around your pool area.
- Don’t drink and dive – Alcohol and swimming don’t mix. If you are supervising young children or are swimming alone, monitor your drinking and ensure you are able to swim as well as supervise and resuscitate.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to keep up to date on your local government compliance regulations and requirements to make sure your pool is compliant. We’ve put together a handy guide to each state’s requirements for you to keep handy .
Remember, nothing beats staying alert and being prepared. With your pool area safe and in tip top shape there’s nothing left to do but to slip, slop, slap and enjoy!