Have fun but know the risks
Pool toys – noodles, floaties, dive rings, kickboards, beach balls etc – are a lot of fun. But they also have dangers to be aware of. When left in and around the pool they attract the attention of children who may try to get through or over a fence or reach out to try and get the toy from the pool’s edge.
Toys such as floaties and noodles can also make a child seem more competent in the water, giving parents a false sense of security and leading them to be tempted away from actively supervising their children. But some simple actions will ensure that pool toys can be used and enjoyed safely.
Check the age and weight ranges when purchasing pool toys and make sure your child isn’t too old or heavy for a particular toy. Deflate inflatable pool toys when not in use and check them for leaks before use. Securely store all pool toys and other non-essential equipment out of sight and reach of children and never leave pool toys in the pool when they are not in use.
Pool toys can also be used to reach someone in trouble – although only as a last resort. Royal Life Saving recommends using a reach pole or a personal flotation device as part of a ‘reach or throw rescue’ so make sure you store one of these items around the pool for emergencies.