At the Pool
The recent National Drowning Report 2013 released by Royal Life Saving Australia (RLSA) reported that of the 291 drowning deaths in Australian waterways, 31 were children between the ages of 0-4.
Swimming pools continue to account for the largest proportion of drowning deaths in this age group representing 61% of all drowning deaths in children 0-4 years. The children under the age of 5 have been identified as a high priority area of the Australian Water Safety Strategy
The reason so many drowning deaths occur in home swimming pools is that pools are located close to the house and the child's natural curiosity brings them in contact with the pool. In the majority of home swimming pool drowning deaths the toddler fell in or went in voluntary.
The most common entry point for toddlers in the home pool is: via an open gate, through a house door, or by using nearby equipment to climb over the fence.
Swimming Pool Safety Checklist
- Fence the pool with a four sided fence - this means that access to the pool is via a gate, not the house. It is also preferable that the pool area is only used for swimming and that any equipment not related to the functioning of the pool should be stored outside the pool area. Download the Home Pool Safety Checklist here
- Is the gate self-closing and self latching?
- Ensure the gate is not propped open at any time.
- Children should be supervised whenever they are in, or around water, and this supervision should be any adult and the child should be within arms reach at all times.
- Have you and your child undertake water familiarisation classes?
- Learn resuscitation. To view the Royal Life Saving Resuscitation fact sheet click here.
- Pool Fencing
- Brochure - Is your Swimming Pool Kidsafe?
- RLSSA - Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation (GSPO)
- Ministers Specifications SA 76D - Swimming Pool Safety - new prescribed requirements for upgrading prescribed swimming pools
- Public Pools - Standard for the Operation of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools
- Public Pools - Guideline for the Inspection and Maintenance of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools