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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Injury Prevention - Swimming Safety
- Supervised / Unsupervised Pools / Waterfronts

To all Owners/Operators and Lifeguards of Public Pools



Important Notice




Supervised Pools/Waterfronts

When swimming in a supervised area (with lifeguards), there are many tips that can help you to have a safer and more enjoyable experience.

  • Read, know and follow the posted rules and instructions.

  • Be co-operative with those in charge. They are there to keep you and others safe.

  • Take responsibility for the safety of yourself and your children. Don't rely on lifeguards to do this for you.

  • Keep all toddlers and young children "within arms reach". Even if they are wearing a lifejacket.

  • Non-swimmers should remain in shallow water. Do not rely on a floating object like a "pool noodle" or air mattress to keep you afloat.

  • Always walk on pool decks and docks and in the shower area. Falls are more likely on a wet surface.


References:


LSS - Life Saving Manual, 1994




Unsupervised Pools/Waterfronts

Almost all drownings in Canada happen in an unsupervised area (without lifeguards).

  • When near waterfronts like cottages and beaches always check for currents, sandbanks, weeds, rocks and tree branches before entering the water. 

  • Before walking near water, check the area for risks such as slippery surfaces and loose rocks; remember that 2/3 of drowning deaths never intended to go into the water.

  • Be aware of boats and avoid swimming in common boating areas.

  • Choose a stationary landmark on shore and refer to it often when swimming to avoid drifting too far from the swimming area.

  • Never rely on devices such as inflatable mattresses, "noodles" and toys to provide floatation to non or weak swimmers.

  • Make sure there is close access to a working phone for emergencies and know your location (name of body of water and closest road or intersection).

  • Have rescue equipment and a first aid kit handy and know how to use them.

  • Never let anyone swim alone.



Whenever near the pool:

  • Make sure the pool cover is completely off before swimming.

  • Avoid all diving in backyard pools, even with a "deep end". Most lack the depth and distance to dive safely.

  • Ensure that a fence with a self-locking gate surrounds a backyard pool and completely separates the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Check with your municipality for fencing specifications (e.g. height requirements).

  • Clean and put toys away after use. Children may try to get toy from the water and risk falling in.

  • Wading pools for children should be dumped daily and cleaned with bleach when they become contaminated with any body fluids.

  • Watch for wet patches around the pool area; falls are more likely on a wet surface.



Reference:


LSS - Life Saving Manual, 1994




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