Swim Secure: Keeping Your Pool Safe

Swimming in your pool during the summer months can be a fun way for you and your children to be active, but pool safety is critical in ensuring that you can enjoy your pool without worry. In Australia, as many as 291 people drowned between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2013, but there are steps that you can take to ensure that you and your family do not become part of this statistic. There are three key things you need to make sure that your pool is safe: appropriate pool fencing; non-slip tiles and depth markers; as well as supervision of your children and swim training.


Pool fencing should be at least 1.8-2 metres (6 feet) high, and should include a locked or child-proof gate to prevent children entering the pool area unsupervised. Children under 5 are at particular risk for drowning, and if you have young children in your family pool fencing is critical. Ensure that your gate always swings back to a closed position after opening, and your gate must never be propped open. If there is a gap between your fence and gate, ensure that it is no wider than 100mm across - small children can slip through gaps in fences more easily than you may expect.

Tiles and Depth Markers

Another critical safety component for your pool is using non-slip tiles. Tiles should be waterproof, and protected against ultraviolet (UV) rays, as well as frost-proof. The pool tiles around the pool are usually different from the tiles inside the pool, and both require regular cleaning to prevent scum and mildew building up. Scum can cause the tiles to be more slippery and dangerous, so inquire when you purchase your tiles about how to clean them, and what kind of cleaner to use. Skid-resistant swimming pool tiles can be used on steps or around pool edges to clearly mark where each step ends, and ensure that you can grip onto the edges of the pool securely. Depth markers are particularly important for older children who may be learning to swim but less confident in their abilities: use depth markers to show the depth of the pool at each end, and monitor your children in deeper areas.

Swim Lessons and Supervision

Many accidents occur when children are unsupervised, or run out of the house unseen. Falls into water are the most common cause of drowning in children under five in Australia. You can prevent these accidents by ensuring that your pool has the above fencing and tiling safety measures, and by taking your children to swimming lessons from an early age. While any child under 5 must always be supervised, from around 18 months you can teach your child simple water safety rules, like waiting for an adult supervisor or walking carefully around the edge of a pool. From 3 years old, your child can begin formal swimming lessons to help them feel more confident in the water, and able to swim to the edge of the pool if they accidentally fall in.

With the above tips, you can ensure that your pool is safe and secure for the enjoyment of you and your family.