In the time it takes to pour a drink, a child can drown. Herewwith some tips that every parent and pool owner should take note of and keep handy.

  1. If you have a pool or water feature, get a safety cover fitted by a reputable supplier. Don't secure a pool then ignore a pond or fountain! Check the cover's fastenings regularly and replace as soon as they weather or break - they are crucial to the effectiveness of such covers.
  2. If your children visit friends whose pools are not secure, urge the parent to fit a safety pool cover.
  3. Check the weight tolerance of any safety cover you purchase. (For example the PowerPlastics Pool Covers Solid Safety Cover bears the weight of two adults and a child.)
  4. Ensure that every adult in the home knows CPR, including domestic workers. Never hire a baby sitter or au pair who can't swim.
  5. As soon as a child is found in a pool, start CPR and do not stop before emergency services arrive on the scene. It can make the difference between a full recovery, brain damage and death.
  6. Thermal pool covers and leaf nets are never to be considered a safe barrier for children.
  7. Don't leave toys in or near a pool, children will be tempted to retrieve them.
  8. Teach your child what to do if they see another child in trouble - to call for help and not to try help the victim themselves as this could put him/her at risk too
  9. Never leave a child unattended near a pool. Take a cordless phone outside in case you get a phone call, or let the call go answered.
  10. If you're pregnant, order your safety pool cover now, you'll have enough to worry about after the birth.
  11. Teach your child to swim fully clothed and with shoes on.
  12. Choose a swimming coach wisely. If you're not comfortable with techniques being used, trust your gut instinct. Negative experiences in early childhood can have long-term impact. If your child develops a fear of water, don't ignore this – a child who panics is at greater risk.
  13. If your child is ill or on sedative medicine, do not allow swimming. Never allow swimming after dark.
  14. If your child has suddenly gone quiet or wandered off, check the pool first. Even a minute can make the difference between survival, irreversible brain damage and death.
  15. Be a role model. Children tend to copy adults so don't be a clown and ban hooligan antics from your pool.. Never allow an adult who has been drinking or is under the influence of sedative medication to supervise children in or near a pool.
  16. Discourage walking or playing on any pool cover. Fit a sensor beam if your children tend to flout the rules.
  17. Don't let pool levels drop. Keeping the pool topped up allows for small arms to easily grab the edge if needed.
  18. Never under estimate the scope of peer pressure when it comes to risk taking. If you see other children being excessively foolish in the pool, chat to the parent. Children don't enjoy teasing and are one lot who often WILL jump in the fire if their friend tells them it is a good idea!
  19. Discourage your dogs from swimming. Children and pets in a pool are not a good mix.
  20. Teach your child how to retrieve objects from the bottom of the pool to build water confidence and teach breathing techniques.
  21. Even if you don’t have children, it is still necessary to consider safety for visitors. Families living in residential complexes with a communal pool should insist that their body corporate install a pool cover.