Drowning is one of the major causes of death for NSW children under the age of five. Each year on average 10 children under five drown in backyard swimming pools and many more suffer brain damage and other serious injuries associated with near-drowning experiences. With an estimated 340,000 backyard swimming pools in NSW, swimming pool safety is an issue that affects the whole community.
Importance of supervision, pool barrier maintenance and CPR
It is important to remember that while fencing may assist in reducing drownings in backyard pools, the most effective way to prevent drownings is for children to be adequately supervised by a parent or other responsible adult.
It is essential that children are taught to swim from an early age. Training in resuscitation techniques will give adults the skills required in an emergency situation.
The Royal Life Saving Society of NSW and Surf Life Saving NSW conduct CPR courses. All supervising adults are encouraged to undertake CPR training.
Access to Further Information
The Department of Local Government's website at www.dlg.nsw.gov.au has information and resources under the topic "Backyard Swimming Pools" which includes:
- Swimming Pool Laws Brochure.
- Home Swimming Pool Safety Checklist
- Links to the Royal Life Saving Society Australia's home pool safety webpage at www.homepoolsafety.com.au, which includes a checklist, fact sheets and other resources relevant to private swimming pools.
- Always keep your fence, gates, doors and windows locked secured and in good condition. Regularly check them
- Always keep your gate and door latches and self-closing mechanisms in good working order
- Always close your gates and doors when not in actual use. Never prop gates open
- Never leave climbable objects near the fence
- Always keep trees, shrubs and creepers trimmed well away from the fence
- Always leave your filter covered so small children can't get into it and keep chemicals out of view and reach
- Always supervise children around the pool at all times. A fence is no substitute for responsible supervision
- Teach your children to swim from an early age
- Undertake resuscitation (CPR) training for emergency situations.