We can all agree that a lazy afternoon spent lounging around the backyard pool with friends and family is simply unbeatable. The warm sunlight streams through the trees. A tempting array of mouth watering food is lovingly prepared, ready to graze on throughout the day. The blissful rush of cool water over your skin on your first dive in. It starts to feel like your own private oasis.
It’s one of Australia’s favourite past times and becomes something of a ritual in the summer months. Especially for the kids.
Whether you are lucky enough to have a pool of your own, or you regularly visit a friend’s, there are a few pool safety essentials that should become second nature.
Pools can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken – Between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2015, 128 children aged under five years drowned in NSW alone.
Almost 65% of these drownings occurred in private swimming pools.
Having a checklist for keeping the kids safe around the pool is a no-brainer, really. By following these simple steps for pool safety you will be reducing unnecessary risks and helping everyone to enjoy themselves safely.
Here is our Pool Safety Checklist for New South Wales to keep the kids safe this summer
- The fence itself must be a minimum of 1.2m high (from the flat ground)
- There must not be a gap that exceeds 10 cm in any part of the fence, including between vertical bars or panels of pool glass or perspex
- The gap between the fencing and the ground must not exceed 10 cm at any point
- You must ensure any ‘climbable’ objects e.g. pot plants, bird baths, BBQ’s are at least 90cm from the fence perimeter at all times
- Conduct a regular inspection of the fence to ensure all screws, bolts and other fasteners are in good working order
- Gates should never be propped or wedged open at any time
- The pool gate should have a hinge mechanism that means the gate automatically swings shut, even from the farthest open position
- The pool gate should swing outwards
- The gate must have an automatic locking mechanism
- Always apply SPF30 or higher sunscreen to children at least 15-20 mins before exposure to sunlight and swimming. Set a smartphone reminder to re-apply after 2 hours
- Hats, longsleeved shirts and sunglasses are all necessary for a day in the sun
- Provide shaded areas nearby, particularly between 10am-2pm. Sun umbrellas and tents are a great idea for the backyard
- Set a good example for kids by following sun safety rules yourself – If children see adults applying sunscreen and covering up, they are more likely to remember to do it themselves
- Pool owners are required to display a certified CPR chart in the pool area
- It is recommended that at least 1 adult that has completed nationally accredited first aid and CPR training be present to supervise children whilst children. You can find a first aid course in Newcastle here
- Store an approved first aid kit near the pool area
Chemicals and pool maintenance
- Ensure you have reliable testing kit to check pH balance and chlorine levels
- Store all pool chemicals on high shelves and ensure they are clearly labelled
- Never store pool chemicals in drink bottles or other containers
- Carefully read the instructions before handling any chemicals and other potentially hazardous materials
- If pool chemicals come into contact with the eyes, flush immediately with clean water for 15 minutes, then seek medical attention
- If ingested, do not induce vomiting. Seek emergency medical attention immediately
By following these pool safety tips you can make sure that you and the kids make the most of the warmer months and enjoy every minute by the pool.
Got a question about your existing pool fencing? Planning to build a pool and want to discuss your options for fencing and privacy in Newcastle, Central Coast or the Hunter Valley? Contact us on (02) 4903 3388 today.
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