Swimming is a great recreational sport enjoyed by many people young and old. Not only is it fun, but it makes for good exercise. However it is vital to know how to keep yourself and others safe while in and around the water. It’s the month of April Fools, but being around water is no joking matter. We at Waterlinx are serious about pool and water safety. If you are still enjoying the last few sunny days by the pool, be sure to keep safety in mind!
Below are some tips on how to achieve this.
Pool/water safety tips
- Invest in a swimming pool net or cover. This way children will be able to play safely in the garden, giving you peace of mind as well. A cover can also prevent your domestic animals from falling in
- Never swim alone. Always let someone know that you’ll be in the water.
- Don’t run around the pool. You could slip and injure yourself.
- To avoid serious injury, never jump or dive in the shallow end. Use the deep end.
- Never leave children unattended. Keep a watchful eye.
- Teach your child not to go near water without being supervised.
- Encourage swimming lessons from a young age. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes.
- If the person is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Have appropriate safety equipment nearby, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Don’t allow an inexperienced swimmer near the deep end of a pool. Rather keep them in the shallow end where they can stand.
Since the beginning of December 2014, Netcare 911 has received more calls relating to drowning and water related emergency incidents from the country’s inland provinces than it has for the coastal areas. Netcare 911’s Peter
Feurstein, says that approximately 75% of all drownings in South Africa each year occur among young children under the age of five. “Netcare 911 strongly recommends that if you have a pool, it should be covered with a pool net and surrounded by child proof fences. Such protection has been shown to significantly decrease the number of drowning incidents. If one has young children, vigilance is key in keeping them safe.”
(Peter Furstein, Netcare 911. Taken from netcare.co.za)
What to do in a drowning situation
Swimming lessons are very important. According to Dr Victoria Roets, Principal Medical Consultant for Netcare 911, a child often drowns because he/she panics.
Dr Roets recommends the following in the event of a near drowning:
- Ensure the safety of the rescuer and remove the patient from the water.
- Lay the patient on a firm flat surface and check for responsiveness and breathing.
- Call an emergency medical service (EMS) provider such as Netcare 911 (082 911), who will dispatch qualified staff to assist you. With the assistance of the call centre agent, start emergency medical care immediately while you are waiting for emergency medical staff to arrive.
- If the patient is not responding and not breathing, start chest compressions (30 compressions), then open the airway and give two breaths.
- After five cycles of 30 compressions to two breaths, check for signs of life.
“The victim may have swallowed a large volume of water and may vomit once revived. Should vomiting occur, turn the patient on his or her side immediately. If the victim has a pulse but is not breathing, continue rescue breaths. Give one breath every three seconds for children between one and eight years of age and one breathe every five seconds to those over the age of eight. If both pulse and breathing have returned to normal, turn the victim onto the side. It is of utmost importance that every patient is transported to hospital for medical care after a near drowning incident.”
(Dr Victoria Roets, Principal Medical Consultant for Netcare 911. Taken from Health24)
Benefits of safety nets
- Pool safety nets provide a safe, secure barrier while maximizing the available backyard space and preserving the view and ambience of the swimming pool area.
- The size of the net’s squares are the foundation of its safety potential. The squares are small enough that children can’t fall through, but too big to walk or stand on. One adult can remove or replace a typical swimming pool net in just a few minutes.
- A series of pulleys is built into the centre of the pool net. By loosening the pulley rope, the tension is released and the pool net is easily removed. Just unhook the clips and roll the pool net onto the portable roller. Simply reverse this process to place the pool net back onto the pool. The safety pool net utilizes custom hooks and flush brass anchors in the deck to secure the net.
- As with all safety barriers the net is only to be used as deterrent and the child should never be left alone near the pool.
- Swimming pool nets provide an excellent barrier for small or confined areas. Finding a cover for uniquely shaped pools with rocks, waterfalls, raised planters, etc, can often be prohibitive, but they usually pose no problem for pool nets.
- A swimming pool net has several advantages over pool fences. Children cannot climb over or under a net pool cover like they may be able to with some fences. If unwanted pool entry by older children who may be able to gain access even though a fence is in place is a concern, a pool net can be a viable solution. A swimming pool net can be removed in about 5 minutes and replaced in 5 to 10 minutes.