When the summer arrives and you open your swimming pool, the first thing your kids will want to do is dive right in. Although swimming is great fun and has many health benefits, accidents can happen.
Here are some top tips on how to make sure that your kids stay safe in the pool this summer.
1. Water Quality and Pool Equipment
Before you allow anyone to use the pool, check that the water is clear and clean and that the filtration system and pump are working properly. If you're in any doubt, have the pool water and equipment checked and serviced by a professional.
2. Pool Fencing and Gates
Pool fencing should be at least 130 centimetres high and should have no handrails or horizontal rails that children could use to climb on. If the fencing has vertical slats, they should be less than 110 millimetres apart to prevent a child from climbing through. Chain link fencing should not have any openings of more than 50 millimetres. The gates to your pool area must be self-closing and also self-latching, with the latch placed well out of the reach of small children.
3. Pool Covers
If your pool has a cover, you must remove it completely before allowing children to swim. An adventurous child might think it great fun to swim under the cover, but they could easily become trapped.
4. Pool Drain Covers
Long hair and baggy swimming shorts can very easily become caught up in pool drains, resulting in nasty injuries. Be sure to have drain covers fitted to prevent accidents.
5. Safety Equipment
Place a safety ring with a rope beside the pool, and always have a fully-charged cordless phone available in the pool area, with emergency numbers clearly marked on it.
6. Adult Supervision
Even children who can swim can be at risk from drowning. Supervise kids in the pool at all times and make sure that there is a competent adult swimmer in the pool within easy reach so that 'touch supervision' can be provided when necessary. It's important that you give the kids in the pool your full attention. Don't be distracted by taking or making phone calls or become so immersed in an enthralling novel that you don't notice a dangerous situation developing.
Make sure that at least one adult present during a kids' swim session is confident and able to perform CPR if necessary. With this in mind, it's well-worth taking time out to attend a basic first aid course during the winter downtime.
8. Pool Rules
Establish a clear set of pool rules and make sure that children understand them fully before you allow them to swim. For example, don't allow kids to run around the poolside or push others under the water.
9. Life Jackets
New swimmers or very small kids should wear life jackets when swimming in your pool. Don't let children use 'water wings' or inflatable rings in place of proper life vests. The child could very easily slip through a ring into deep water, or the toy could deflate suddenly.
10. Tidying Up
When swim sessions are over, tidy away all toys and inflatables from around the pool area so that kids aren't tempted to return unsupervised to retrieve something later. If you have an above-ground pool, it's sensible to lock or remove any ladders when the pool is not being used. Pool access gates should also be locked.
In addition to taking your kids for regular swimming lessons, follow the 10 golden rules above to make sure that your pool is a safe and happy environment for your whole family to enjoy during the summer months.
For more information on how to keep your pool equipment running smoothly and on keeping your water crystal clear, have a chat with the helpful experts at Shenton Pumps