Tips on swimming pool safety

The Tshwane Emergency Services would like to urge residents to be responsible and ensure that pools are safe for small children and persons that cannot swim during the merriment period that is upon us.

With the festive season already underway and schools having closed, children tend to swim more on the hot summer days. The Tshwane Emergency Services has in the previous month alone, responded to three incidents of children who have fallen into swimming pools, with one incident being fatal. In the time it takes to pour a drink, a child can drown


Below are the tips that every parent and pool owner should take note of:

  • Never leave a child unattended near any source of water, even a bath tub, fish pond and water bucket.
  • If you have a pool or water feature, get a safety cover fitted by a reputable supplier. Don’t secure a pool but ignore a pond or fountain! Check the cover fasteners regularly and replace them as soon as they weather or break – they are crucial to the effectiveness of such covers.
  • If your children visit friends whose pools are not secure, urge the parents to fit a safety pool cover.
  • Check the weight tolerance of any safety cover you purchase.
  • Make sure that your pool is fenced and fitted with a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens to the outside of the pool. The latch should be out of reach of children.
  • A swimming pool fence is not a substitute for supervision – close the pool completely.
  • Don’t leave toys in or right next to a pool – children will be tempted to retrieve them.
  • Display a safety chart with emergency numbers on your pool fence.
  • Keep your cell phone or cordless phone near the pool so that you can call 10177 in an emergency.
  • Ensure that every adult in the home knows how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), including domestic workers.
  • As soon as a child is found in a pool, start CPR and do not stop before emergency services arrive on the scene. It can make the difference between a full recovery, brain damage and death.
  • Discourage walking or playing on any pool cover. Fit a sensor beam if your children tend to flout the rules.
  • If your child has suddenly gone quiet or wandered off, check the pool first. Even a minute can make the difference between survival, irreversible brain damage and death.
  • Empty baths, basins and nappy buckets immediately after use.
  • Never leave the pool area unattended even for a moment; take the children with you if you do.
  • It is a good idea to learn how to swim and teach the children to swim. However, a child who knows how to swim is not out of danger. He or she stills needs supervision at all times.

When emergencies occur, call Emergency Services immediately on 10177 or 012 310 6300/6400.