Many Australians dream of having their very own pool in their backyard. It’s a real sign of “making it” and living the dream, not to mention a great and convenient place to cool off when the summer heat comes knocking at the door. However, we have to remember that having a pool is a privilege as well as a right, and there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with it, and we mean legal responsibility.
Even as regulations tighten in some states, the problem of child safety when it comes to pools remains one of national importance and concern. A young child unable to swim can drown within just a few minutes of falling into an unprotected pool. You could be nearby but if you don’t see or hear what happens, then tragedy easily unfolds.
Residents of Victoria should already know that a safety inspection for your pool in Melbourne is required. Let’s assume you’ve passed that and your home pool is properly registered with your local council. At this point, there are several important safety rules that all families should follow.
Rule 1: When Nobody is In the Pool, the Barriers are Up
Some people install permanent barriers around the pool to prevent young children and toddlers from ever getting too close before they can properly learn to swim. Others use movable fences that protect the pool when nobody is using or supervising it but can be set aside to create that nice, open aesthetic that people love when swimming or having a pool party, for example.
Everyone in the family who is able to move the fence should know about its function and importance. Older siblings need clear instructions that the fence being there is a matter of life and death. There can be no euphemism when it comes to this. Besides, failing to have the pool properly protected can result in heavy fines from the government.
Rule 2: Invest in Safety Covers
In the previous rule, we highlighted the importance of siblings in particular being responsible with the pool fencing, restoring it to place when they’re done in the pool and/or closing any gates to a permanent fence. This should remain rule number 1, but use this second rule as an additional safeguard. Get a high-quality and dependable pool surface cover, as well as a set of anti-entrapment safety drain covers (however many are needed).
Remind your family about the function of these covers, and instruct everyone who can how to put them in place and remove them properly. This is good knowledge for future life anyway, so it’s beneficial in more ways than one. The rules on the safety covers and pool fencing need to be absolutely understood and rigidly enforced.
Rule 3: Get Everyone Swimming ASAP
You’ll have to keep the safety precautions in place even when your little ones have grown bigger, but one of the best ways you can protect them is to get them water-competent as quickly as possible. Australians are a proud swimming nation, and education for swimming typically starts young. The longer you delay it, the longer your worries will continue that someone hasn’t followed one of the safety rules.
Rule 4: Take a Family CPR Course
Another good home swimming safety measure is to take steps to make sure any adults, and children who are old enough are familiar with CPR and water safety. They should learn how to use rescue equipment, and how to administer CPR to someone who has been in the water and fallen unconscious. These are life-saving skills, and are a good way to bond as a family unit in vigilance.