Whether you’ve just had your dream pool installed in time for summer 2017 or whether it’s been part of your lives for years, there are certain basic safety precautions that you need to take to keep your family safe.
The rule is simple – if a child who is not an extremely experienced swimmer is in the pool, he or she needs to be supervised. A lot of parents believe that it’s fine for their kids to be in the pool if they are inside the house, because they would hear screams if a child had to get into difficulties in the water. This isn’t true – unfortunately, a drowning can take place in mere minutes, without you hearing so much as a splash. If a toddler is in the water, an adult needs to be not only watching them at all times, but actually in the water with them – close enough so that he or she can reach out and touch you at any time.
It’s important to make sure your children are comfortable in the water from a young age, and they should be taught basic swimming skills as early as possible. Various experts have different ideas about the right age to teach a child to swim, so we recommend that you take this step as soon as you feel that your child is developmentally ready.
Having a cover over your pool when you’re not using it can literally save lives. However, when it’s time to swim, it needs to be taken off completely – not just pulled halfway back. Any area of your pool which is covered when people are swimming in it is a safety hazard.
Putting up a fence around your pool is another great way to keep your little ones (and pets) safe. Make sure your fence has a gate with a lock or out-of-reach latch on it so that the kids can’t get into the pool area without you knowing about it. A fence will also help to prevent balls and other toys from ending up in the pool and enticing kids into the water to fetch them.
Floatation devices such as armbands and pool noodles are a great investment, as they can help kids learn to swim and have fun in the water. However, they are not safety devices, and are not recognised by any authority as providing protection against drowning. While armbands should keep your child afloat, there’s nothing to stop your child from removing them if he or she is left unsupervised.
Having a swimming pool put in is one of the most wonderful things you can do for your family. As long as you ensure that it is used safely, your family will enjoy many hours, days and years of fun in the sun.
Words by Steph. She’s good.