In 2017, a 2-year old toddler was able to scale the pool fence in just 21 seconds. That was all the time it took for the child to climb the pool fence in their backyard. When the toddler got to the top of the barrier, he easily loosens the latch and swung into the pool area on the open gate.
The number of drowning children under five in NSW has increased. Tragically, 29 children aged 0-4 years drowned in 2017, a 32% increase from the previous year. Fortunately, these tragic incidents are preventable. Swimming pool owners must consider the safety for ALL pool users.
Children safety is crucial and having the compliant fence can prevent a tragedy from happening, especially when small children are involved. Thus, choosing the proper fence in order to minimise incidents like this one has become not only important but also urgent for some families.
Toward this goal, here is a helpful list of safety tips to minimise accidents in your swimming pool.
1. Install a Fence
The best way to keep young children and pets away from a swimming pool is to install pool barriers around your pool area. The gate should have a lock to prevent kids' access to the pool when there is no adult supervision. Putting locks can keep your children out of the pool.
A chain link fence is not the best choice for keeping children out of the pool area because they are very easy to climb. Here are basic guidelines for a safe and compliant pool fence.
- The pool barrier should be at least 1200mm high and climb resistant. There should not be any foot or handholds to help the child from climbing.
- If the fence has gaps, they should not be any wider than 100mm.
- The gate leading to the pool should be kept in good shape. It must be 1500mm high, measuring from the bottom of the gate.
- If the pool is above ground, restrict access to the water by installing a gate that locks in front of the stairs.
Shocks and electrocution are also an issue when it comes to swimming pool safety. There are certain events that a device would fall into the pool. Thus, electrical safety measures are needed.
2. Prevent shock and electrocution in the pool
Electrical devices, including any outdoor entertainment equipment, should be kept away from any wet surfaces.
When using electrical devices outside, plug them into a GFCI (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter) to ensure that if anything happens, they are protected from electric shock. Below are more tips to prevent electrocution and shock:
- Do not swim during or after thunderstorms.
- It is safe to use battery-operated appliances in the pool area.
- Make sure that all electrical wires and junction boxes are away from the water.
- Identify where all the electrical switches and circuit breakers are located. It is also important to know how to turn them off in case of an emergency.
3. Adult Supervision is a must
When there are infants and toddlers in the pool, an adult should be in the water to ensure their safety. If there are older kids in the pool, there should also be a guardian to supervise them.
Children should never be allowed to swim alone, regardless of their own swimming ability.
For the adult and guardian, it is important to avoid being distracted by talking on the phone or drinking while overseeing a child in the pool.
4. Install a pool alarm
There should be an alarm on any pool gates and alarm on any doors that lead out to the pool. In this way, pool owners will be warned if a child enters the pool area. It will also let homeowners know if a trespasser is trying to gain access to the pool or to the home via the pool area.
There are different types of pool safety alarms. Here are some of them:
- Pool Mounted Infrared Sensors
- Fence/Wall Mounted Pool Alarms
- Underwater Motion Alarms
- Personal Immersion Detector
- Floating Motion Sensors
5. Enforce pool rules
One of the ways to minimise accidents in the swimming pool is to enforce pool rules. These rules should include no diving at the shallow end, stay away from drains, and no running on the pool deck. Here are more rules to reduce the risk in the pool.
- Unsupervised swimming must be prevented.
- No Running Around the Pool
- There should be no toys allowed around the pool.
- No Diving unless the pool is deep enough
- Swimming Lessons Required
6. Maintenance Matters
Since swimming pools are used by most people, it can be a hot spot for germs. Dirty pool water may cause illnesses and infections. Not only that, a faulty pool fence can result in accidents and injuries.
Ways to Maintain the Pool
- Always check the pH level of the water to ensure that the pool remains sanitised. Checking and testing the pool chemicals should be done weekly. SPASA sets the standards for proper water quality.
- Disinfecting the water in the pool is also essential. Most of the pool owners use chlorine to clean the water. Other options such as ozone therapy and UV lights are also available.
- Clean the skimmer basket regularly to remove all debris and avoid clogging.
- When someone is suffering from diarrheal illness or skin rash, do not let them swim.
- Clean the filter regularly or as needed.
- Tell your kids to use the restroom and shower prior to entering the pool. This will prevent contamination of bodily fluids.
Pools can be a worthwhile investment for you and your family. However, it can also cause great safety risks if not managed properly. These tips will help you make wise choices so you can enjoy a safe and sizzling summer!
Another way to minimise swimming pool accidents is to contact a pool compliance and safety inspection company. They also conduct pool safety inspections and other pool-related assistance to make sure that your pool is safe.