We all want to make sure our kids have the best summer ever, but it's important to remember to take a few safety precautions before letting them splash around in the water. To ensure that this is a fun and safe holiday for all, go over these water safety tips.
Your swimming pool
- Your swimming pool needs to be totally fenced in with a gate that automatically shuts and locks. Insist on SABS specifications and check that the lock is child-proof.
- Ensure there isn't a pot plant or tree that kids can use to clamber over the fence.
- Don't get into the habit of leaving or propping the gate open.
- The pool net or sail should always be fitted whenever no one is swimming. Understand how to use it properly and get it serviced according to the manufacturer's requirements. Remember, even a net of good quality is only safe if it is installed and fitted correctly.
- A pool alarm will warn you when someone enters the water, but never rely on it as your sole safety measure.
- A gate alarm sounds when the gate opens, but this too shouldn't be your only safety measure.
- Although swimming lessons are important as soon as your child is old enough, they don't offer drown-proof protection. So never rely on lessons or pool toys to protect your child.
- When your child is old enough, teach him to float in his everyday clothes.
- Children should never be allowed to swim or play around the pool without adult supervision. Also warn your children against playing rough in or around the pool.
- When supervising children in the pool, don't allow anything to distract you.
- Learn how to do CPR.
- Teach your child never to dive or jump into unknown waters, or when there are people in the way.
- What about the neighbour's swimming pool? If safety measures aren't in place there, ensure your children can't get to it.
- If your children stay with a nanny during the day, ensure she can swim, understand all safety measures and is trained in performing CPR.
- Never leave children alone in the bath tub. Ignore the phone or door bell, or take your child along.
- Use a slip mat in the tub.
- Use a safety clip on toilets to keep it closed.
- Empty bath tubs, buckets and plastic splash pools when you're done, and don't let them lie around.
- Make sure your fish dam is child-proof.
- Make sure your gardener understands the importance of water safety and doesn't leave the gate open or remove the pool net.
- Ensure children don't have access to the jacuzzi.
- If you live near a stream, dam or vlei, fence in your garden so your children can't access the water source.
- Always use a life jacket when you sail in a boat.
- Watch your kids on the beach and don't swim if there aren't lifeguards.
- Learn emergency numbers off by heart and ensure that whoever looks after your children also knows the numbers as well as what to do in case of an emergency.
Distribute this safety chart at school or attach to an email and send to everyone you know with kids or a swimming pool.
To print out this guide, download the PDF here.
- Water safety for kids
- Where do most drownings occur?
- 10 ways to know your child is water safe
- How do you keep your child safe from drowning?
Which other safety precautions do you make sure you take before letting your kids play in the water over the summer? Tell us by commenting below.
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