Who doesn’t love a splash in the pool? There’s no doubt about the fun factor, but it’s a low-impact activity that’s good for everyone, it’s cheaper than turning on the air conditioner on a really hot day – and great for that property re-sale price and appeal. But with all that good news comes some really bad news, too. In the last reporting period of 2020, 34 Victorians alone succumbed to drowning – and another 100, most of them young children, suffered a non-fatal drowning incident. It’s difficult, therefore, to overstate the importance of some smart, practical swimming pool safety tips for every household that loves a backyard splash.
The silver lining of the report is that, as drowning awareness and pool safety barrier rules and compliance goes up, the drownings are mercifully going down. In fact, over the 10-year average, the reduction in drowning numbers are down almost 25%.
If we all work together to be extra vigilant, ensure safety barrier compliance is at 100%, and continue to educate ourselves about workable swimming pool safety tips, we can dare to dream about slashing those tragic figures even more.
So as we dare to dream, we’re sharing list of 8 swimming pool safety tips you simply must know from our experienced Melbourne pool safety inspectors.
1. Watch your kids
Safety barriers are one thing, but the ultimate weapon against drowning is watching those kids like a hawk. The rule is: when they’re anywhere near the pool or spa, make sure at least one adult is aware of their role as the designated DIY lifeguard. And if your kids ever do ‘go missing’ at home for any reason, make sure you check the pool first, because each second counts.
2. Talk to your kids
Talk to the kids about the importance of pool safety every time you also talk to them about the fun of splashing in the pool. One overlooked chat tends to be about parts of the pool – like the drain covers – that could entrap them, like openings, drains and pipes.
3. Go to swimming lessons
It’s never too early to enrol your kids in structured swimming classes, to both become familiar with and wary of the pool environment. Research shows that drowning risk plummets by almost 90% for those aged 1-4 if they’ve attended lessons from the earliest ages.
4. Don’t trust pool toys
If your young one can’t swim very well, don’t rely on random pool toys to keep them safe. Instead, have them fitted for proper floatation devices to Australian Standards.
5. Be prepared
As vigilant as you may be, it’s always good to be more than ready for the worst. Therefore, never tell your kids it’s pool-time without knowing where your phone and a First Aid kit are. For bonus points, brush up on your own First Aid training, including how to perform CPR.
6. Cover your pool
There are lots of other reasons to install a pool cover, but a truly child-resistant and lockable one is a powerful barrier between your little one and a potentially fatal incident.
7. Install pool alarm
There are products on the market that you can fit to your safety barriers and gates that let you know when your kids – or someone else’s – is gaining access to the pool.
8. Check that pool barrier
Last but not least, the last line of defence – your mandatory pool safety barrier. New laws for pools and spas came into effect in Victoria less than two years ago, requiring pool owners to keep up to date with strict registration, inspection and pool compliance certification requirements. Here at Pool Compliance Victoria, our registered and experienced building and pool inspectors help to keep families safe with our more than 50 years of combined industry experience.
Pool CV can help keep your kids safe!
While we know you’ve got a lot to think about with our ever-busier lives, but consider this: With the risk of drowning, there are no second chances. Here at Pool Compliance Victoria, we’re the only VBA-registered pool safety barrier inspection company in Victoria, so with our expert support, rest assured your family is in the safest of hands. Get in touch with the friendly team today to arrange a spa or pool inspection.