Tips on swimming pool safety

Three best friends swimming in an inflatable pool

Residents of Mamelodi and Nellmapius are urged to be responsible and ensure that pools are safe for small children during the festive season.

With the schools closed for the holidays, children tend to swim more.

Tshwane Emergency Service spokesperson, Johan Pieterse said the service had last month alone, responded to calls of three children who had fallen into a swimming pool, one resulting in a drowning.

Parents and pool owners should take note of the following safety tips:

– Never leave a child unattended near any source of water, even a bath tub, fish pond and water bucket.

– If you have a pool or water feature, get a safety cover fitted by a reputable supplier.

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– Don’t secure the pool but ignore the pond or fountain! Check the cover fasteners regularly and replace them as soon as they weather or break as they are crucial to the effectiveness of such covers.

– If your children visit friends whose pools are not secure, urge the parents to fit a safety pool cover.

– Always check the weight tolerance of any safety cover you purchase.

– Make sure that your pool is fenced and fitted with a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens to the outside of the pool. The latch should be out of reach of children.

– A swimming pool fence is not a substitute for supervision – close the pool completely.

– Don’t leave toys in or next to a pool – children will be tempted to retrieve them.

– Display a safety chart with emergency numbers on your pool fence.

– Keep your cellphone or cordless phone near the pool so that you can call 10177 in an emergency.

– Ensure that every adult in the home knows how to CPR, including domestic workers.

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“As soon as a child is found in a pool, start CPR and do not stop until emergency services arrive on the scene,” said Pieterse.

“It can make the difference between a full recovery, brain damage and death.”

– Discourage walking or playing on any pool cover. Fit a sensor beam if your children tend to flout the rules.

– If your child has suddenly gone quiet or wandered off, check the pool first. Even a minute can make the difference between survival, irreversible brain damage and death.

– Empty baths, basins and nappy buckets immediately after use.

– Never leave the pool area unattended even for a moment; take the children with you if you do.

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– A child who can swim is not out of danger – he or she still needs supervision at all times.

There are two public swimming pools in Mamelodi and one in Nellmapius.

In case of an emergency, call the service immediately on 10177 or 012-310-6300/6400.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

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