Public pools open their gates on the 1 September and this heralds the start of Spring and the swimming season. It also, unfortunately, heralds the start of a season of deaths as a result of drowning. Agnieszka Gryn, General Manager Fidelity ADT Inland, is urging everyone to be extra vigilant and ensure that swimming pools are off limits to small children unless supervised. “We need to stop these incidents,” she warns.
She also highlights that, despite lifeguards being on duty at public pools, caregivers need to keep an eye on adults and children who may not be water safe. “Often there is a lot of activity in and around the pool and it’s easy to become distracted and complacent. This is when accidents happen.”
Gryn outlines several important points for homeowners to remember when it comes to pool safety:
· Ensure your pool fence is secured and the keys are out of reach of children. Make sure the gate latch is in working condition and if necessary put an additional padlock on the gate.
· Your pool net must always be in a good condition. Nets perish in the sun so make sure you check it is still taut and there are no weak areas.
· Children must always be supervised at the pool by an adult who can swim.
· Don’t assume your children’s friends can swim. Keep the pool off limits if you are unsure.
· NEVER leave children unsupervised at the pool. Remember that a child can drown within seconds.
She says that besides the physical safety measures you can put in place, carrying a panic button and equipping your domestic worker with one is a good idea. “It’s also good to ensure those who are supervising children in the pool have done a first aid course and can perform CPR in the event of an emergency.”
Many drownings also occur while families are holidaying near rivers or dams. “Ensure children are watched at all times and wear life jackets with a whistle attached. Never let children, especially those who can’t swim, play in a river or dam without adult supervision. Also be aware that with increased rains come elevated water levels. Streams may become rivers with strong undercurrents. Don’t take chances and educate your children on water safety!” concludes Gryn.