Swimming pools provide endless summer fun for families, offering a refreshing escape from the scorching heat. However, they also present potential hazards, especially for young children.
Below, we’ll be outlining essential swimming pool safety tips tailored specifically for young families. By implementing these guidelines and easy precautions like installing aluminium pool fencing, you can ensure your family’s poolside experience remains safe and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Keep a Watchful Eye
A fundamental and non-negotiable aspect of pool safety for young families is the constant and vigilant supervision of children around water. Drowning incidents occur in seconds, often in silence, making it crucial for adults to remain attentive whenever children are near or in the pool.
Young children, especially those who are not strong swimmers, should never be left unattended, even for a moment. Pick a responsible adult to be the family lifeguard, whose sole responsibility is to monitor the pool area.
Avoid distractions like phone calls, socialising, or reading while supervising children near the water. It’s easy to underestimate the speed at which accidents can happen, so unwavering attention is vital.
Fencing and Barriers – Securing Your Pool Area
Installing pool fencing and barriers around your pool is critical in implementing safety for young families. These physical measures serve as a protective shield, preventing unsupervised access to the pool and significantly reducing the risk of accidents.
This fence should be four feet high minimum and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. The purpose is to create a barrier that is not easily breached by curious children. Regularly inspect the fence to ensure it remains in good condition, with no gaps or damage.
In addition to a secure fence, consider adding extra layers of protection. Install door alarms on any doors leading to the pool area. These alarms will sound when someone opens the door, alerting you to potential access to the pool.
Regularly check that all locks and alarms are functioning correctly, as these components are crucial to maintaining a secure pool environment for your family.
Water Safety – Educating Your Children
While vigilant supervision and physical barriers are essential, educating your children about water safety is equally crucial. Teaching them how to behave in and around the pool lets them make safer choices and respond appropriately to potential hazards.
One of the best ways to ensure your child’s safety in and around the water is to enrol them in age-appropriate swim lessons. Many community centres offer classes designed for children as young as six months old. These lessons teach basic swimming skills and instil water confidence and the importance of safety in and around the pool.
It’s also a good idea to enforce easy-to-understand rules that are to be followed around the pool. These pool safety rules can look something like this:
- No running on the pool deck.
- No diving in shallow water.
- Always wait for an adult before entering the pool.
- No pushing or rough play in or around the pool.
Please make sure the kids understand these rules and the reasons behind them. Reinforce the idea that these rules are in place to keep everyone safe, not to restrict fun.
Floatation Devices – Life Jackets and Floaties
Floatation devices play a valuable role in pool safety, especially for young children who may not yet be strong swimmers. These devices provide additional protection and confidence in and around the water.
Life jackets and various personal flotation devices (PFDs) are necessary for non-swimmers and young children. Ensure the life jacket is Coast Guard-approved and appropriate for your child’s weight and size.
Learn CPR – A Lifesaving Skill Every Parent Should Know
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving skill every parent should learn, especially if there is a swimming pool at home or at other children’s homes.
CPR is a technique which restores breathing and circulation in someone who has suffered cardiac arrest or isn’t breathing. The basic steps of CPR are as follows:
- Check for Safety – ensure the area is safe for you and the victim.
- Call Lifesaving Responders – if you notice someone in distress or unconscious, immediately call emergency services or have someone else call while you start CPR.
- Perform Chest Compressions – this manoeuvre involves placing the heel of one hand on the centre of the chest and the other hand on top. Push down with your body weight hard & fast, at least 2 inches deep, for approximately 100-120 compressions per minute.
- Give Rescue Breaths – after 30 chest compressions, provide two rescue breaths. Tilt the victim’s head back slightly, pinch their nose, and give a breath that makes their chest rise.
- Continue CPR – alternate between chest compressions and rescue breaths until emergency help arrives or the victim starts breathing independently.
Additionally, CPR courses often cover the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which may be crucial in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Having an AED accessible near your pool area can further improve your family’s safety.
Remember, continuous adult supervision is the foundation of safety for children playing in or around water. Combine this with proper aluminium pool fencing and barriers, swim lessons, floatation devices, and knowing how to perform CPR. These layers of protection work together to minimise risks and provide a safe pool experience for your family.