Young children are at high risk of drowning, making active adult supervision vital. Supervising a group of children around water can be difficult, particularly if you do not know the different swimming abilities within the group. Different children have different swimming abilities and you may not be aware of the skill level of each child you are supervising. Make sure you understand who the swimmers and non-swimmers are within the group.
It may be hard to see all areas of the pool, with pool toys and splashing water impeding vision. It is also easy to get distracted by one child, diverting your attention from the other children in the pool area.
If you are holding a children's pool party, there are some important things to consider. It is helpful to establish some rules for the party (eg, no running, no pushing) and discuss these with the children before they are allowed to enter the water. The children at the party will not be familiar with your pool, so explain the layout of the pool to them.
A designated child supervisor should be assigned, possibly more than one if there is a large group of children present. The supervisor should wear a Keep Watch ‘Designated Child Supervisor’ hat. If the supervisor needs to leave the pool area for any reason, the hat must be passed onto another adult who will then assume responsibility for supervising the children.
Have an emergency plan in place in case a child gets into difficulty. This involves:
- Calling 000
- Starting CPR
- Supervision of the other children