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Swimming Pool Safety

Safety first! Let’s ensure our kids stay safe around our pools in brisbane and gold coast

Child safety and pools

Brisbane pools should only ever be considered a lot of fun. However, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in Queensland for children under five years. Supervising young children and teaching them to swim at a young age can save lives. Effective pool fencing also keeps your children safe. The pool safety standards in Brisbane are some of the highest in Australia. Let’s ensure our kids stay safe around our pools.

Improve your pool safety

Parents, or people supervising children and pool owners should follow the ABC of pool safety:

  • Always supervise your children near a pool. This means you must focus Supervision which means focusing all of your attention on your children all of the time, when they are in, on, or around water.
  • Begin swimming lessons for your children.
  • Close the pool gate and always keep your fence maintained.

What is supervision?

Supervision is not an occasional glance from the kitchen window while you do something else. You must constantly watch every child who is in, or around, the pool. If a child is under 5 you should be in the water and within arms’ reach at all times. For older children, be within the pool area and ready to enter the water in case of an emergency. Always have a designated adult supervisor. Older children cannot be responsible for supervising younger children.

Extended breath-holding can be dangerous and cause death

Contemporary Pools Qld is committed to reducing the incidence of drowning and serious immersion injuries involving young children in Brisbane swimming pools. The following information is presented as part of that commitment.

What is shallow water hypoxia?

Shallow Water Hypoxia (SWH) or Shallow Water Blackout (SWB) can be fatal, even in shallow water. SWH is often associated with repeated breath-holding games. Taking several deep breaths or hyperventilating before an extended period of breath-holding is extremely risky. Despite the dangers of SWH, many people are not aware of this issue or its link to breath-holding games and activities.

How could breath-holding under water cause death?

If a person is trying to stay underwater for any length of time, they might either ignore the body’s signal to breathe, or deliberately reduce that signal by hyperventilating— breathing fast on purpose—prior to breath-holding. If the person does not surface and breathe at this point, unconsciousness follows, and death quickly occurs unless the person is immediately rescued from the water and is resuscitated. Shallow Water Hypoxia can result from one episode of hyperventilation prior to breath-holding, or be triggered by repeated episodes of breath-holding. Often, deaths and brain injuries due to SWH occur in very competent swimmers and/or experienced divers. For supervisors and life guards, it can be difficult to distinguish between a person ‘playing’ on the bottom of the pool and one who has passed out. To reduce the incidence of SWH-related injury and death in Brisbane, children should be supervised at all times around water, particularly swimming pools. Adult swimmers should also set a good example by acting responsibly around water. Being aware, and making others aware, of the risks associated with breath-holding games and activities will go a long way to reducing the incidence of drowning related to SWH.

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