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Pool Safety

Hume Bank

With summer holidays comes swimming season. While you’re having fun in the pool, especially with children these holidays, it’s important to make sure the pool area is a safe environment. If you’re staying with friends or in holiday accommodation with a pool, it’s even more important to be water aware.

Here are five tips for pool safety from the Royal Life Saving Society.1

1. Make Sure the Pool Fencing is up to the task

Inadequate fencing is a major contributing factor to pool accidents in Australia.2 Pool fencing regulations vary by state but in general it’s suggested that your pool fence is:3

  • Made from durable material and well maintained
  • A minimum of 1.2m high when measured from the outside, with any boundary fences at least 1.8m high
  • No further than 10cm off the ground, with gaps of no more than 10cm between any panels or palings
  • Fitted with a fully self-closing and self-latching gate, with a latch that’s either on the inside of the gate or at least 1.5m off the ground.

2. Keep the pool area clear of Climable or Dangerous Objects

Children like to climb, and they don’t always think about the risks or consequences. Keep the area around your fence clear of climbable objects such as chairs, plants, BBQs, and outdoor furniture and make sure pool toys are stored out of sight.

3. Don’t Leave Children Unsupervised

It seems obvious not to leave your children alone in the pool area, but careful supervision involves more than you may think. If children are less than five years old, they will need help and support when using the pool. Remain within arm’s reach of your child, so you’re ready in case a dangerous situation occurs.

When children are older, it’s important that you continue to actively supervise them while they remain in the pool area. This means you’re paying constant attention, free from distractions such as talking on the phone, or cleaning the pool area. It’s not recommended to leave older children in charge of supervising younger ones.

4. Teach you Kids Water Safety

While pool safety is an adult’s responsibility, it’s still important to teach your kids to be water safe. Swimming and water safety lessons are recommended for all children, to increase water awareness and give them valuable lifelong skills.

5. Be Prepared In Case of An Emergency

Following the steps above will help make your pool a safer place, but accidents can still occur. If something does go wrong, it’s important to be prepared. In case of an emergency situation, knowing CPR can help you save a child’s life. Consider completing a First Aid and CPR course and make sure you have a first aid kit handy, in case any minor injuries occur.

For more information, visit the relevant authority below for your State regulations:

• Pool Fencing Regulations in VIC

• Pool Fencing Regulations in NSW

• Pool Fencing Regulations in QLD

• Pool Fencing Regulations in TAS

• Pool Fencing Regulations in NT

• Pool Fencing Regulations in SA

• Pool Fencing Regulations in ACT

• Pool Fencing Regulations in WA


1 Royal Life Saving Australia Pool Safety Checklist
2 NSW Fair Trading Pool Fencing Requirements
3 Home Improvement Pages Pool Fencing Regulations in Australia
Information provided in this article is designed to be a guide only and was believed to be correct at time of publication. Please consider your own personal circumstances when reading the information contained within the article.