If you have a pool in your garden, you have a responsibility to make it and the area around it as safe as possible for everyone, especially children. Of course, keeping an eye on kids while they’re in the pool is essential, but this is only part of it. Read these tips to make your pool that little bit safer for your family and anyone else who uses it.
Always have an adult present
Children can get into difficulties in seconds so adult aid is vital. Make sure all the kids know they can tell an adult if there’s a problem – even if they caused it.
It’s up to you to set the example for your children – no running, no bombing…you know the drill.
Know which is the deep end
Checking the water depth is vital, especially for weaker swimmers.
Not directly swimming-related, but water isn’t the only potential hazard.
Put away toys
Remove toys, especially ones with wheels, from the side of the pool.
Have a barrier around the pool
Safety experts recommend a fence that’s at least four feet high and made of closely-spaces slats so no-one can squeeze through. Make sure there’s no hand or footholds for clever climbers, or anything next to the fence that could be used as a step-stool or ladder.
Lock the gate
Make sure you can lock the gate to the pool. Self-closing and locking gates are the best and you can also fit an alarm that lets you know the gate has been opened. You should also keep any doors that lead fro the house to the pool locked.
Use a water alarm
These alarms sit on the water and go off if anything heavier than a duck goes into the water.
Don’t overestimate children’s ability
Don’t ever assume that your child – or anyone else’s – is competent enough in the water to be unsupervised. Cramps, a bumped head or a tangled foot can quickly lead to disaster.
Take the cover off completely
Always remove the cover completely when the pool’s in use so that no-one gets caught under it.
Keep your phone at hand
Either a cordless house phone or your mobile should always be by the pool with you. This means you won’t be running inside to answer calls and you have a phone handy if you need to call the emergency services.
Learn first aid
Especially CPR. It’s never too soon to teach the kids basic first aid, either. Make sure your safety equipment is always within easy reach, too.