Make sure your kids stay safe around water this summer with these smart tips from lifesaver, Rob Lindegger.
The hot summer weather calls for cool-down time at the beach, dam or swimming pool. Keep yourself, and especially the kids, safe from injuries and drowning by following these water safety tips to keep kids safe around water.
MAKE YOUR POOL SAFE
- Check your swimming pool fence is in good working order. Experts recommend it should be at least 1.2m in height; it should not have vertical gaps more than 10cm apart, and be no more than 10cm from the ground.
- The swimming pool gate should open outwards from the pool, be self-closing and self-latching, and the latch should be more than 1.5m from the ground.
- Objects that could be used to climb over the fence should be removed from the area.
- Pool chemicals should be stored securely, out of view and reach of children.
- Encourage and assist with swimming lessons for children as this will help to reduce panic if they’re accidently submerged in water.
WATER SAFETY AT RIVERS AND LAKES
- A responsible adult should be in the water with children who are swimming or playing near the water’s edge.
- Be careful not to stand on an overhanging bank.
- Check the current before entering the water.
- Never dive into a river or dam that you are not familiar with. Always check the water depth before diving in, and keep a lookout for snags and sandbanks, weeds, rocks and other hazards.
- Avoid swimming near boat ramps or in boating areas.
- Beware of boats using the waterway.
It’s good to remember:
The single most important and effective safety measure is responsible adult supervision. According to Netcare 911, ‘It takes only four minutes without oxygen for irreversible brain damage to occur’. Whether you are at the beach, picnicking by a river or lazing around the pool at home you need to be aware of your children, especially the younger ones, at all times. Parents and childminders should be vigilant and aware of water hazards around the home. Fish ponds, water features, toilets, pet water bowls, open boreholes and drains can all be dangerous. Keep emergency numbers highly visible, such as the Netcare 911 emergency line: 082 911