MAKE YOUR POOL A SAFE ONE NO ROOM FOR SLACK AT­TI­TUDES

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Janita Singh De­tails: poolwerx.com.au; roy­al­life­sav­ing.com.au; swimart.com.au

SWIM­MING pools are sup­posed to be fun, but drown­ing is still a lead­ing cause of death for NSW chil­dren un­der 5.

The NSW gov­ern­ment’s wa­ter safety ini­tia­tive wa­ter­safety. nsw.gov.au says that each year, on av­er­age, 10 chil­dren un­der 5 drown in back­yard swim­ming pools and many more suf­fer brain dam­age and other in­juries as­so­ci­ated with near-drown­ing events.

A re­cent sur­vey by pool-care com­pany PoolWerx shows that de­spite hav­ing one of the world’s high­est per capita rates of pool own­er­ship, own­ers are still fail­ing to pay at­ten­tion to pool safety and leg­is­la­tion.

John O’Brien of Poolwerx says pool own­ers seem to have a lax at­ti­tude to­wards safety and many seem to be un­aware of state leg­is­la­tion.

“Be­ing a pool owner comes with a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity that peo­ple need to take se­ri­ously,” he says.

“Chil­dren es­pe­cially are drawn to wa­ter like mag­nets, so it’s im­por­tant peo­ple have a full un­der­stand­ing of the safety re­quire­ments be­cause the con­se­quences can be life threat­en­ing.’’

The PoolWerx re­search showed that 44 per cent of pool own­ers didn’t have an up-to-date CPR chart dis­played within their pool area de­spite it be­ing a gov­ern­ment re­quire­ment.

The re­search also showed that a stag­ger­ing two-thirds of pool own­ers do not know how to re­sus­ci­tate a fam­ily mem­ber.

PoolWerx has part­nered with for­mer Aus­tralian swim­ming coach Lau­rie Lawrence and Kids Alive to drive home the safety mes­sage.

Chris Fitz­mau­rice of Swimart says a healthy at­ti­tude is needed.

“By the age of five, chil­dren should at least know how to float and do ba­sic dog pad­dle to be able to get them­selves out if they hap­pen to fall in,” Fitz­mau­rice says.

He says even if chil­dren are com­pe­tent in the wa­ter, adult su­per­vi­sion is cru­cial.

Royal Life Saving So­ci­ety Aus­tralia has a free Home Pool Safety app and says peo­ple need to be vig­i­lant, es­pe­cially around blow-up pools.

As part of its Keep Watch cam­paign, aimed at pre­vent­ing drown­ing deaths of chil­dren un­der 5, it is en­cour­ag­ing pool own­ers to do four things: make sure they know CPR, fence their pools, fa­mil­iarise chil­dren with wa­ter and al­ways have ac­tive su­per­vi­sion.

Pool safety ... a proper pool fence can pre­vent drown­ing.

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