Tips and Tricks

Things which help keep children safe

Children can be attracted to pools like magnets. Here are some tips and tricks to help prevent them from entering the area unsupervised and keep them safe:

  • at the end of the day, put away all toys and floats
  • never prop open the door to the pool area
  • use the pool area for swimming only
  • set clear rules for behavior around the pool
  • have a plan for when ball, toys, objects get thrown into the pool area
  • explain why they can’t use the pool when they want to.

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Do I have to put away everything when we finish? It is best to remove anything that would entice children into the pool area - the less things to attract them the less chance there is they’ll try and get in unsupervised.

What if I have to prop open the door to move stuff? It would be better to have an adult hold open the gate than prop it, so if any reason they have to leave, the gate will close rather than leave open access to the pool.

What if a toy goes into the pool area? If you have a clear rule on what happens if anything they want goes into the pool area, there is less chance they’ll just try and enter the pool area unsupervised.

I’ve told them they can’t go in there, that’s enough isn’t it? If you explain the dangers that could occur it helps their understanding, we want pools to be fun but used with caution, the more understanding, the better it is for all.

Is it okay to leave them there while I go get something? No, small children should be within arm’s reach around water, if there is a group of adults make sure that at least one is aware they need to supervise while you are away.

Where can I go for more information? Both Plunket and Water Safety New Zealand have great resources on how to be safe around water with young children. And for the physical barriers please look at the New Zealand Building Code, Clause F9, Restricting access to residential pools. (external link)