POOL SAFETY “EDUCATE, DON’T JUST SHUT THE GATE”
- We need to think beyond the Pool Fence and teach young children how to behave in and around the pool area. Generally the pool area would be used for swimming, opening the gate and getting in the water. We feel this is giving children the wrong message, that it is ok to get in the water, when the pool gate is open.
- Part of our swimming lesson is to arrive 15 minutes early and sit in the waiting area until it’s the child’s lesson. The child then enters the pool area in a safe manner holding the parent or guardian’s hand. This teaches your child that just because the gate is open it does not mean it is ok to enter the water. This practice of waiting before entering the water should be practiced in and around your family pool. Children should be taken into the pool area on a regular basis from birth, not only to swim but taught how to live with the swimming pool and to not go into the water unsupervised. It is no different than teaching a child to stop and not go on the road or touch a stove.
- It is very common for our 2 year old students to be sitting in the waiting area whilst watching their mothers and siblings in the pool… they have been taught to sit and wait.
- There is no guarantee that children are safe around the pool and supervision should be exercised at all times. If we can work on teaching our children to be safer in the pool area, it will be a positive start to addressing Australia’s devastating drowning statistics.