Backyard pools can be the life of summer but they can also be unsafe for children if proper safey precautions are not taken. Follow these tips from Life Saving Victoria to ensure your pool stays a fun zone, not a danger zone.
Never take your eyes off children in and around the pool. Active supervision means that your child is consistently watched by an adult within arms reach.
Pool Safety Tips
- Supervision means constant visual contact, not the occasional glance.
- Even in a supervised public pool never take your eyes off children swimming and if they are under 5 you must be within arms reach.
- If you leave the pool or water area, even for a moment, take your children with you. A swimming pool fence is not a substitute for supervision.
- Display a resuscitation chart on your pool fence.
- Familiarise children with water by taking them to learn to swim lessons, run by accredited AUSTSWIM teachers, at the local pool.
- Empty paddling pools when they are not in use.
- Empty baths, basins, sinks, buckets and troughs, immediately after use.
Backyard pool safety
It is law that swimming pools or spas on private residential properties in Australia provide safety barriers to restrict access to the pool or spa. In Victoria for example, every private swimming pool or spa capable of containing a depth of water exceeding 300mm must have a childproof safety barrier.
A building permit is also required prior to installing the barrier. Safety barriers, even when provided, are no substitute for adult supervision of toddlers and children who are playing in or near swimming pools or spas.
To ensure that your safety barrier remains effective you should:
- Fit and maintain correct safety measures to gates, doors and windows (e.g. self-closing, self-latching devices, flyscreens)
- Make sure you remove any items such as chairs, boxes and pool pumps that could be used to climb the barrier to access the pool