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Do not ever use, nets, solid covers, fences or any other safety device as a substitute for caution and supervision.

Please read the Pool Safety tips below, our children is precious.




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Pool Safety

Pool Safety Tips
brought to you by the Layers of Safety Campaign

Drowning is the most likely manner in which a middle or upper income family will lose the life of a child under the age of 5 years. Despite this, most people do not realise that their pool is the most dangerous feature of their home. (Data interpreted from the Medical Research Council of South Africa, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004). Internationally, and certainly in South Africa, it has been found that not only are people generally unaware of the risk posed by pools, but also the methods of making a pool safe are not known.

It is the goal of this campaign to educate South Africans to the simple methods, tools and activities that can reduce the needless and preventable loss of life to accidental drownings.

Making your pool safe can only be achieved by adding multiple Layers of Safety to your pool and habits.

Tips and Info
(Derived from US Consumer Safety Products Council and US National Safe Kids Campaign)
Pick at least two of the following Layers of Safety, noting carefully the characteristics of each.

Pool Alarms: A pool alarm will alert you to the fact that your child has fallen into your pool and is an excellent final Layer of Safety. Look for alarms that use subsurface detection and have at least two sirens (one for the pool area and one for the house).
Remember, someone must be home to hear the alarm, so never leave your child at home alone.

Pool Fences: Relying only on your pool fence to prevent a drowning is very dangerous. Due to the false sense of security that is commonly created by a fence, drowning's are actually more likely in fenced pools. Your pool fence should be sturdy, at least 1.5m high, with no gaps, breaks or nearby climbing tools such as trees, garden furniture etc. The gate through the fence should be lockable, self-latching, spring-loaded and open away from the pool.

Pool Nets: Your child can drown in a netted pool if the net sags below the water by as little as 3cm under the weight of your child. Nets are also notoriously difficult to fit and remove. The hassle-factor may encourage you to leave the net off when the pool is busy over a hot weekend. Remember – no net, no safety. Always test that your net remains above the surface of the water even when weighted down. When the net is removed from an unattended pool, even for a minute, other Layers of Safety are an absolute necessity.

A note about solar blankets: These blankets can be extremely dangerous. If your child falls into a blanketed pool, the blanket may close above him, concealing the accident until it is too late. Layers of Safety such as a pool alarm and fence must be used.

Various habits we have as parents can also make our pools safer.
Follow all of these tips to make sure you are doing your job properly.


  1. Stay at the pool, preferably in the pool, at all times when your child is swimming or playing around the pool. Never leave your child alone, even to get your cell phone or to answer the doorbell. Take your child with you if you must leave the pool area.
  2. Don’t let yourself be distracted when watching a child around the pool. Avoid distracting activities like talking on the phone, eating, drinking, reading, snoozing or playing with another child.
  3. When many children are swimming, designate a Water Watcher. This person’s sole responsibility is the pool area. The Water Watcher must not leave the pool until someone else takes over or the pool area is made safe. Needless to say, the Water Watcher must be sober, committed and responsible. Change Watchers frequently to maintain concentration.


  1. If your child is missing, go to the pool first. Make sure that you search the pool and pool area properly. Once you are certain the pool area is safe, you can then check lower risk areas in your house.
  2. Never leave toys or other attractive items lying around the pool – the temptation to fetch a favorite toy may overwhelm your child’s training to avoid the pool if alone.
  3. Always empty and overturn inflatable splash-pools, buckets, drums etc. Always close the lid of your toilet.


  1. Learn to perform child CPR. It is not the same as adult CPR. Administering first aid can save your child’s life.
  2. Train your child never to swim without asking you first. A tamper-proof pool alarm can assist in this training.
  3. Swimming lessons are a useful aid, but are not a one-stop solution to prevent drowning. Even if your child can swim, you must have other Layers of Safety present. A child should never be expected to fend for him or herself around a pool.

Please visit Layers of safety for more info

Layers Of Safety


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