Baby in pool

Tips for swimming pool safety

Spring is in full swing. Swimming pool covers are off, the temperature is rising, but unfortunately so will the number of drownings. Around 75% of the annual drownings in the country are of children younger than five.

Medical researchers say that the average number of drownings per annum is around 600 – almost two a day.

Here are seven tips to ensure swimming pool safety.

1. Don’t blink
Not blinking is a slight over-exaggeration, but it’s to emphasise just how important it is to keep a very, very close watch on children when they are swimming or even near to a swimming pool.
Split seconds can be the difference between a scare and a drowning.

2. Access control
Preventing access to your pool is key to protecting your children. If you prevent access to the pool, be it by erecting a fence, or removing the ladder to a raised pool, you can avoid accidents altogether.

3. Learning to swim
It’s impossible to foresee every possible accident and to keep your children away from swimming pools until they are older. Teaching them the dangers associated with swimming and teaching them how to swim will equip them in ways that prevention fails to do. Send them for swimming lessons as early as possible.

4. Learn CPR
Despite children being able to swim and preventative measures being in place, accident still happen. Knowing CPR is a skill that all parents should have, regardless of whether you own a swimming pool or not.

5. Post emergency numbers near your pool area
In the panic of an emergency and needing to call the relevant emergency services, it is easy to forget important numbers. Save valuable time by displaying this number somewhere near the pool area, so that you’d be able to call emergency services immediately in case of an emergency.

6. Do not become distracted
Remaining vigilant is tiring. If you’re at a braai, cooking the meat, entertaining guests and attempting to keep a close eye on children near or in the swimming pool, you’re thinly spread. Be sure to remain focused and do not become distracted, otherwise delegate responsibilities such as keeping watch of the children to another responsible adult.

7. Don’t just focus on the pool
The swimming pool is not the only threat. Remember to be just as vigilant when visiting the beach, swimming in a lake, or in an area that is close to a large body of water. 

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