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Expert Advice

Summer is coming! It's time to babyproof the pool

A few simple precautions could save a life.

Summer' is fast approaching, which can only mean one thing - more and more Aussie families diving into backyard pools. The increase in water play also means that water safety needs to be every parent's number one​ priority when it comes to young children.
With drowning the highest cause of accidental death for children under five in Australia, ​Poolwerx​ has provided its top tips to babyproofing your pool this summer.
Check your pool fence and gate
How well do you know the regulations surrounding pool fences? In Queensland for instance, your pool fence must be at least 1.2 meters tall and slatted fences cannot have gaps wider than 100mm**.
Ensure that your fence receives regular upkeep and that there are no damaged areas that could be entered without supervision.​
​There are also several safety requirements for your pool gate that you may not be aware of. Pool gates need to be self-closing and self-latching. Gates can not be propped open, even if you are in the pool area and must be regularly maintained in order to ensure they remain most effective.
Waterplay is a great way to cool down in the Aussie heat, but a few precautions are necessary to keep everyone safe. (Image: Getty)
Keep distractions at bay
When you are not using the pool area, be sure to pack away pool toys. Bright, colourful pool toys left floating in the water may entice young children to try and enter the pool area unsupervised, so make sure to keep toys stored away and out of reach from kids.
Moreover, make sure there are no climbable objects near the pool fence. Items such as chairs, tables, pot plants, trees and more can act as a ladder for young kids to scale fences without parental knowledge.
This goes for inside the pool area too, as brave kids can (and will) reach out and pull items through the pool fence gaps to get a foothold on.
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Test the water
Water chemistry plays a large part in both your pool and in your family's overall health. A water test will provide you with an in-depth analysis of the exact chemical dosages your pool requires to remain in top condition and be safe for young swimmers skin. Water tests can be done in just 60-seconds and can provide key insights into your pool's health.
Right now is the perfect time to begin babyproofing your pool. (Image: Getty)
Enrol your child in swimming lessons
Preparing your kids to dive into summer is just as important as preparing your pool. Children as young as four months old are able to learn life saving skills through supervised swimming lessons. Find your local swimming class and set your children up with the knowledge they need to be safe around the water.
Assign a responsible pool person
While pool safety is everyone's responsibility over the summer, assigning a responsible pool person to watch over young and inexperienced swimmers will put parent's mind at ease.
Childhood drownings can occur in just seconds, so having a responsible pool person to act as another set of eyes can prevent these tragic accidents.
In case of an emergency, always have access to key signage around the pool area that highlights lifesaving techniques like CPR. These charts can be picked up from your local Poolwerx, or found online at ​poolwerx.com.au​.

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