Swimart’s pool safety rules will ensure swimmers and bathers are safe in and around your pool and spa
These range from fencing compliance and supervision through to water awareness and first aid. The Royal Life Saving Society’s Keep Watch program has identified four key drowning prevention Actions: Active Supervision, Restrict Access, Water Awareness, and First aid/CPR. These should not be used individually but together to maximise child safety – if one line of defence fails, the other prevention measures will be actively working to prevent your child, or someone you know, from drowning.
1. Active Supervision
• Be prepared – always make sure you have everything ready, such as sunscreen, towels, hats etc., before you enter the spa or pool area.
• Be close – remain within arm’s reach of children.
• Be alert – focus all of your attention on your child when they are in, on, or around water. Avoid distractions such as your smartphone or tablet.
• Be present – you should never leave your child alone in the water, nor should they be left in the care of an older child. If you have to leave the pool or spa area, even if it’s just for a minute, take your child with you.
• Be responsible – set clear rules and boundaries for all children when they are in the pool or spa area.
2. Restrict Access
• Secure gate – must always open outward, and be self-closing and self-latching. Gate is to be kept closed at all times while the latch must be more than 1.5m from the ground and close securely on the first swing.
• Adequate fencing – should comply to council regulations, be at least 1.2m high with no vertical gaps more than 100mm apart, and in good working order. (Spa covers cannot be used as safety barriers in place of a fence for aboveground spa pools because there are no current regulatory standards for spa pool covers, and when the cover is off the spa pool there is no barrier.)
• Proper clearance – ensure outdoor furniture is not left near your pool fence as it can entice children to climb on them and enter the pool area.
3. Water Awareness
• Water familiarisation – classes, such as Royal Life Saving’s ‘Swim and Survive’ or Laurie Lawrence’s ‘Kids Alive Do The Five’ programs focus on the gradual introduction of basic skills for children aged 6 to 36 months like moving in the water, getting their face wet and blowing bubbles. These are followed by learn to swim classes.
• Removing water hazards – store pool toys out of view when the pool is not in use to ensure children aren’t enticed to reach for them.
• Set rules around water – establish clear boundaries for all children when they are in, on, or around pool or spa water.
• Discuss water safety – educate children in an age-appropriate language about the potential dangers of water, and how rules help keep them safe.
4. First aid and CPR
A first aid training course that includes CPR(cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training, oxygen resuscitation, defibrillation and emergency care could save a person’s life. CPR delivery modes vary depending on your selected course and may include:
• Face-to-dace – classroom-based includes theory, practical instruction and assessment.
• Flexible delivery – self-paced pre-learning and classroom based delivery.
• On-line – self-paced E-learning before attending a face-to-face practical assessment.
Prominently display water safety signs, such as this one from Royal Life Saving Society, near your pool or spa.
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