Public Pool Safety
Public pools are wonderful places for kids to exercise and play – but it’s extremely important to always be mindful of pool safety.
As a parent or carer, it’s essential that you set an example for children when it comes to safety. This is never more true than when you are in a public pool, swimming centre, or aquatic leisure area.
While public swimming pools are fun and safe when you follow the rules, in the past nine years 34 people have drowned in them – and 41% of these were children under 10*.
Sadly, it is lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer while the child is in the water that is the main contributing factor in 70% of the drowning deaths at public pools*. It is important to note that drowning incidents may be preventable by following a few simple rules.
Lifeguards have a very important and specific job to do. Despite their duty of care, they are not babysitters and cannot supervise all children at all times. So parents and carers are reminded to be within arm’s reach of non-swimmers and children under 5 years, and to provide constant active supervision of children aged 6 to 10 years.
As well as drowning, there are a number of other accidents that happen in and around public swimming pool areas when the rules are not followed.
The rules of the pool
Here are some general rules to keep in mind when you are at the pool with children.
- Children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by an adult (18+).
- Any injury occurring in or around the pool must be reported to a lifeguard or member of pool staff right away.
- No diving except in designated areas. Only one person is allowed on diving boards and platforms at a time.
- Infants who are not toilet trained must wear securely fastened swimming nappies and must be changed as soon as required.
- Food and drinks are not permitted at public swimming pools, except in designated areas. Alcohol, smoking and chewing gum are forbidden.
- Running and boisterous play around the pool are not permitted. This includes jumping into the pool without care and caution as well as any activities that might endanger other users of the pool.
Each public pool has their own rules and regulations which can be found on the premises or, in some cases, on their website. Familiarising yourself and your child with them will ensure a more safe and enjoyable swim for everyone.
Want to find out more?
There are many more important facts about how to prevent drowning.
From important tips, download this fact sheet to help you enjoy safe summers by the pool.
* National Drowning Reports 2003 – 2012, courtesy of Royal Life Saving Society – Australia
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