Safety in and around Water
DROWNING IS SILENT.
Children do not thrash around and shout for help when they are drowning. When thy are in distress they might be able to wave and shout but not when they are drowning.
Wow, where has this year gone!!!
Summer 2019 is already in full swing with this heatwave we are experiencing. And that means the pool is the most enticing place to be for us and our pets!
At Pool Cover Pro your child’s safety is of the highest importance to us. That is why our fist newsletter is not about keeping your pool Chrystal clear or how to take care of your pool cover but overall water SAFETY!!
I had a chat with Andrew Ingram from the NSRI and Janelle Naidoo from Lifesaving SA to see how we should set up our action plan for this years holiday.
When visiting the Beach
- Adults should supervise children at all times
- Swim at recognized bathing beaches
- Always obey the lifeguards on duty – they are recognizable by wearing Red & Yellow
- Always swim between the designated bathing areas only (Check for the Red & Yellow Flag)
- Read the notice boards with information on the tides and conditions of the sea reported by the lifeguards
- Ask questions of the lifeguards as to the sea conditions
- Never swim alone
- Be sure of your footing
- Do not swim in river mouths or dirty water
- Avoid swimming where there blue bottles present
- Do not swim straight after eating
- Do not eat whilst swimming
- Keep glass away from swimming areas
- Do not duck each other under the water
- Do not venture into deep water unless you are a strong swimmer
- Alcohol and swimming do not mix!
- Do not ever enter into water unless you are a strong swimmer and you know it is safe to do this
- Never turn your back on the sea.
- Rip currents are the greatest cause of drowning accidents along the coast. See the poster from Lifesaving SA
- Make sure that you are adequately protected against sunburn – use hats and sunscreen and remember to repeat the application through the day
- Try and avoid being in the sun when it is at its peak.
- Always know where to get help if needed
- Never panic when in trouble – raise one arm vertically for help
- If you witness a drowning – call for help
Surfing, Windsurfing, Kayaking or Paddle Skiing
- Always keep well away from the bathing area
- Be considerate to others
- Know your limitations
- Never surf or paddle-ski alone – have a buddy system
- Watch the weather forecast before you go out
- Never dive alone
- Do not dive with a cold
- Do not wear earplugs
- Always dive in safe areas
- Check your equipment before you snorkel
- Watch the weather forecast before you snorkel
Ski Boat and Jetski precautions
- Always check weather and tides
- Ski Boats must file a cruise plan
- Make sure the boat or jet ski is seaworthy and the motor is in good serviced condition
- Ensure there is sufficient fuel onboard plus 5% reserve
- Ensure all equipment is marked with Boat’s registration number
- Check emergency canister regularly
- Do not overload the boat or jet ski
- Always wear a life jacket
- Know local conditions, landmarks, rules and regulations
- Be considerate and courteous and keep well clear of bathers
- Boats ensure the radio is in good order- do regular check
- Be familiar with how the safety equipment works before you go out
- Do not go on the boat when you are drinking especially if you are the “Captain”
Dams & Rivers
- Children must always be supervised
- Keep Well away from all craft areas
- Keep out of water during electrical storms
- Be aware and careful of currents and undertows in fast running rivers
- Never swim alone
- Never dive into muddy water
- Water Skiing
- There must always be a pilot and observer on the boat
- Always wear a life jacket when skiing
- Always travel and turn in an anticlockwise direction on the dam
- Show a red flag when the skier in the water
- Keep motors in neutral when picking up the skier
- Never travel too close behind a water skier being towed
- Sailing on inland waters
- Always watch the weather
- Always wear a life jacket
- Protect yourself against the elements
- Always keep the boat and equipment in good order
- Know emergency signals
- Alcohol and sailing do not go together
Pool Owners Note:
- The Swimming Pool Covers :
- Must isolate the pool water
- Must have drainage holes or a water removal pump
- There should be no way for a child to open the cover
- Please see the Pool cover section under the SABS standards for Swimming Pool Safety
- The Swimming Pool Gates :
- Must open outward from the pool
- Must be self-closing and self-latching
- The latch must be more than 1.5m from the ground
- The Swimming Pool Fence is:
- Secure and in good working order
- Should be at least 1.2m high
- No more than 100mm from the ground
- No vertical gaps more than 100mm apart
- Objects that could be used to climb the fence should be removed from the area
- Emergency Preparation
- Learn and update your CPR and First Aid Skills – enrol in a first aid and CPR Course
- Check your first aid box supply
- Pool Chemicals
- Should be stored securely, out of view and reach of children
- UV Rays
- UV radiation from the sun cannot be seen or felt.
- UV can be high even on cool and overcast days.
- Don’t rely on clear skies and high temperatures to determine when you need to protect yourself.
- Cover yourself with sun-protective clothing, sunscreen and a hat.
What we say,
When People are using your pool
It is up to you and the supervising adults to keep a close eye on the children. If you are having a pool party don’t just invite the kids, invite their parents too; the more eyes watching the better. Establish a firm set of rules for your pool that everyone clearly understands and are strictly followed. Adults who are watching children and teens should not drink too much alcohol or find themselves easily distracted.
When the pool is unattended
For those times when your swimming pool is unattended, that is where safety devices become very important. You cannot possibly be in your backyard at all times to keep an eye on your swimming pool so something else has to go to work for you, keeping your swimming pool safe.
Some Sobering Statistics
As a leading supplier of pools and pool products for more than 60 years, we love helping people build pools where they will have endless hours of fun. However, it would be irresponsible of us not to acknowledge that pool ownership comes with some serious responsibilities.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide in their “Dangerous Waters” report:
- The greatest number and highest rate of drowning (in any setting) occur among those under the age of 5
- More than 7 out of 10 fatal pool drownings in children from 2005 to 2014 occurred among those under age 5
- It is likely the increased curiosity and mobility of 1-4-year-old that explains their increased risk of drowning in this setting
- Lack of supervision and failure of physical barriers were key factors in many of the fatal pool drownings examined by child death review teams
Your Pool: Closely Supervised or Safely Covered
There are two primary ways to ensure the safety of anyone in or around your pool:
- Close, uninterrupted supervision by a responsible adult
- Effective barriers. As for barriers, while there is no “perfect” safety measure, studies have shown that pool safety covers are by far one of the most effective (the other being alarms). In one review of drowning data where barriers were breached, measures like fences, gates, and doors were implicated in 27, 22, and 19% of deaths respectively. In contrast, pool covers were breached resulting in just 1.7% of fatalities.
Looking even more closely at covers, the ability to put an automatic pool safety cover in place with just the flip of a switch helps ensure that it is deployed whenever the pool is not in use. Manual safety covers require some time and effort to put in place, and human nature being what it is, there will be times when a pool that should be covered is not.
As we observe National Water Safety Month, we encourage all pool owners to consider installing an automatic safety cover — whether provided by us or any other vendor. Covers can be included as part of a new pool install or added to existing pools. And the high-quality materials and craftsmanship used in these units mean they will provide years of outstanding operation.
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