There is nothing better on a sizzling hot summer day than a refreshing dip in the pool. It is even better when that pool is in your own backyard – no taking your swimming gear with you, getting changed in communal changing rooms and having to traipse home with wet hair. It is bliss.

However, that little pool of heaven in your backyard can literally be a death trap for little kids. In Australia, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged between one and three years (source: World Health Organization).

While that statistic can sound a little scary, it does not mean you have to cover your pool up and fill in it, never to be used again. It just means that you need to take steps to make sure that your pool is safe and secure for everyone, but particularly for young children. Even if you do not have any young children living with you, think of your visitors and their children and neighbours. It literally only takes looking away for a few seconds for tragedy to strike, so precautions, even if they feel over the top, are always a wise idea.

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How can you keep your swimming pool safe? Let’s take a look:

Have a fence around your pool

The most effective way of keeping children away from a pool is to fence it off securely. This barrier will stop children from wandering over and falling in when you are not looking. Gates should ideally open outward, away from the pool, and should be self closing and self latching, just in case someone accidentally forgets to shut the gate behind them. The higher the fence, the better, but that does not mean your pool area can’t look good – look for frameless pool fencing and balustrades for a stylish and secure look.

Put in an alarm system

If you are concerned that fencing alone is not enough, you can have alarms put onto gates so that if they are opened, you can be alerted. You can also have underwater swimming pool alarms, which pick up any unexpected movement or wave activity which can give you great peace of mind.

Learn CPR

It is a good idea for everyone to learn CPR if possible, but even more so if you have a pool in your backyard. Should the worst happen, whether that is a child or an adult, if you are able to perform CPR safely until medical assistance arrives, you have a huge advantage. There are all sorts of courses that you can do. 

Store chemicals safely

Chemicals are an essential part of being a responsible pool owner. They protect users and swimmers from germs that can make them ill. However, if they get into the wrong hands, they can kill. Store them safely away, in their original labelled containers in a locked and well-ventilated area. Make sure you are familiar with the steps to take if someone was to ingest them or get them on their skin or in their eyes.

Having a swimming pool in your backyard can be great fun, but it comes with a significant amount of responsibility. Follow these steps to keep everyone safe and happy.