Learning to swim is a vital skill to teach your children. However even children who can swim should always be watched when in and around pools.

There really is no better way to keep children safe around swimming pools than close supervision. Young children should be within reach of an adult in the water, while adults who are paying attention to them and who are free from distractions should always monitor older children. Drowning children do not usually call out for help or wave for attention – they disappear under the surface, unseen and unheard. According to the National Water Safety Forum, there were 420 water-related deaths in the UK in 2010. Toddlers who can accidentally fall into swimming pools and other bodies of water are especially at risk.

Keeping Outdoor Pools Safe

Outdoor pools should always be fenced appropriately to prevent access and the risk of fatal accidents. Fences should be climb resistant and have well maintained gates that are self-closing. Ladders and steps used to access an above ground pool should be removed when not in use.

Sensible Pool Rules for Everyone

Even young children should know and understood the basic rules of pool safety. This includes keeping electrical appliances away from the poolside, not diving into a pool unless it is deep enough, and not running near the pool. While poolside slips can be unpleasant, diving into shallow water can cause spinal cord injuries, brain damage and even death. Children should also be taught never to swim alone in an empty pool.

Pool Alarms

Where no lifeguards are present, pool alarms can also be purchased. These detect motionless bathers and sound the alert for help. The swimmer wears a wristband when in the water, which is monitored over time for movement. When the swimmer is motionless for a set period of time, an alarm will sound at a control unit. This helps to reduce the risk of drowning, but a lifeguard at the scene is always preferable.

The Importance of Lifeguards

Lifeguards are employed at many pools to help prevent accidents. Their positioning can be critical to their effectiveness, with their ability to supervise any facility being hampered by an inability to see blind spots within a swimming pool.  A systematic analysis of a pool environment should be carried out to make sure enough lifeguards are present at any one time and sightlines are examined, identifying where glare could interfere with supervision. Patrolling lifeguards are more effective than stationary ones. They should be able to see all bathers. Equipment designed to help them do just that is available.

Pool Safety Devices

Cameras, which operate both under and above water, can monitor the activity above and below the surface. These can feed back real time views to split screen monitors at lifeguard stations. These cameras can help to deter anti-social behaviour and allow lifeguards to see blind spots and activity beneath the glare of the surface.

Cost effective and simple to install, swimming pool mirrors are designed to help lifeguards have better surveillance of the pool and to offer more security to the general public. They are resistant to chlorine fumes and can be angled to provide the best possible panoramic view for a lifeguard.