Supervision around swimming pools
The water’s lovely – but is it safe?
If your complex or estate has a swimming pool in the common area, families with kids will no doubt be looking forward to spending time in and around it as the weather gets warmer.
While a swimming pool can really add to your quality of life, they come with two significant risks and its concerning of many people let their children go to the pool without adequate supervision.
Noise and nuisance caused by rowdy kids or young adults, in common area swimming, can upset other homeowners or residents in your community scheme (Be it a Body Corporate or Homeowners Association). Much more seriously, swimming pools can be extremely dangerous.
The risk is real
Approximately 600 children drown in South Africa each year – that is 600 avoidable tragedies. While some of these happen at the coast or in lakes and rivers, a significant number take place in swimming pools during summer.
Many more youngsters suffer life-changing injuries from near-drownings and diving into shallow water. While these outcomes are almost too awful to contemplate, they are easily preventable.
Simple safety measures
The two surest ways to prevent accidents in a swimming pool are by controlling access to the pool and ensuring that all children are under constant adult supervision. The latest SABS standards mandate that any pool that is deeper than 30cm must have either a childproof fence all around it, or a pool net or other cover.
When children are using the pool, it is vital that a responsible adult is always present – and alert. While popular beaches may have lifeguards in attendance, there is no such provision in the average complex. This means that the parents or guardians of the children in question are responsible for monitoring them.
A child can drown in under a minute, so it’s vital that the responsible adult pays complete attention – and can swim themselves. Delegating this vital duty to an older sibling or helper who is not confident in the water is not an appropriate safety measure.
If you are the adult tasked with watching the kids in the pool, make sure that’s what you do – don’t get engrossed in your phone or let anything else distract you. Even a few moments of inattention can make the difference between life and death.
What can a complex do?
Trustees, of Sectional title developments, and Directors, of Homeowners Associations / Share blocks, have a significant role here. In addition to ensuring that the pool itself complies with the applicable SABS standards in terms of access control, they can educate adults on children on pool safety. This includes posting rules at, or close to, the pool, and reminding all residents of their risks and responsibilities.
Chief among the rules must be an absolute requirement that adults always supervise children. As mentioned, this is the single most important safety measure that can be implemented. Additional rules might well include prohibiting running and diving, and a ban on glasses in the pool area (to avoid cuts on broken glass). Bans on night swimming and consuming alcohol by the pool might also be a good idea.
Act now for a safer summer
Nobody wants to be a killjoy; the whole point of having a pool is that people get to enjoy it. At the same time, the impact of an injury or death cannot be understated and is certainly something to be avoided at all costs. Considering that, we would like to urge all homeowners and residents to take the necessary precautions (As highlighted above).
Wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable summer from all of us here at Solver Property Services.
Disclaimer: Kindly note that the above article is merely for information, and is not intended to be comprehensive nor to provide legal advice. Solver Property Services, its employees and agents can in no way be held liable for the accuracy or otherwise of the contents of this article, or for the consequences of any action taken or not taken by any person or organisation based on the contents herein.
For more information, please contact 010 822 2882. Solver Property Services has a team of experienced Property Managers / Managing Agents that can assist you. We have close to 150 complexes that we manage across Gauteng (Alberton, Bedfordview, Greenstone, Boksburg, Benoni, Midrand, Sandton, Lonehill, Roodepoot, Pretoria, Kempton Park, Riviera, Edenvale, Vaal Triangle etc are just a few areas that are covered). Solver Property Services are considered Gauteng’s preferred managing agents.