Holidays by the pool: safe swimming
Lockdown lifted, sun, the holidays approaching… if your children have not already dipped their feet in a swimming pool, it won’t be long in coming. However, is now the time to recap of a few safety rules and perhaps update your safety systems? After a reminder of the things to remember, we set out our inventory of recommended safety equipment.
Review of good prevention advice
- Teach your children to always ask permission to go near the swimming pool.
- Do not leave your children unsupervised by the water.
- Ensure that every member of the family learns to swim.
- Always have a telephone to hand and remember the number 112 to call the emergency services (the number is the same throughout Europe).
- At a public swimming pool, read the safety instructions together. This isn’t much fun, but it helps them to understand that there are rules.
- To avoid hypothermia, it is recommended to bathe two or three hours after meals and to adapt your bodies to the water temperature by wetting the back of your neck and your forearms.
- Cover your children with waterproof sunscreen every two hours. There are also anti-UV t-shirts, designed for swimming. Above all, stay in the shade between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm!
- Make your young children wear rubber rings, arm bands or float swimsuits.
- Drink water regularly, even if you aren’t thirsty. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.
- A good shower is recommended after swimming to rinse off chlorine.
What to do to prevent drowning
In 2016, the European Union (EU) registered 5,537 deaths by accidental drowning and submersion. These are the last figures published by Eurostat. They are high, and could be reduced if everyone learned to swim or if people had a better grasp of first aid.
The FNLS (Luxembourg Swimming and Life Saving Federation) trains people from the age of 12 in water rescue. In addition to acquiring lifesaving skills, you and your children will learn first aid: towing techniques, resuscitation and monitoring the victim are all covered.
Without having completed all the training, you can already act and save lives by knowing the European emergency number: 112.
Safety equipment for the pool
It is very important to take measures to make the swimming pool safe and prevent accidents.
There is a wide variety of products intended to prevent, raise alerts or save people from drowning accidents: anti-fall alarms, rigid protective canvases over a pool, barriers, etc.
Fencing and barriers
Permanent fencing is clearly a must, but there are also temporary systems and even infra-red versions.
These infra-red systems are visually very unobtrusive, as they only consist of four posts placed at the four corners of the swimming pool. They trigger an alarm when crossed.
These alarms detect water movements: they sound an alarm if someone falls into the pool.
Most of these systems also have the advantage of only being triggered when a certain volume of water is displaced, thereby avoiding false alarms. However, there may be only a few seconds between an accidental fall into a swimming pool and the alarm sounding.
Wristbands are a lightweight alternative to submerged alarms. If a child wearing one falls in the water, an alarm sounds immediately.
Like swimming pool alarms, wristbands have a certain tolerance level and are not triggered by a few drops of water.
Tarpaulins and covers
There are tarpaulins and rigid covers that can bear the weight of an adult. This equipment is essential since it makes the pool safe for 90% of the time.
From an insurance viewpoint, to cover the pool for any damage, you must declare it to your insurer, because pools are not generally covered in the home insurance policy without a specific add-on.