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Water safety

Tips about how to keep children safe wherever they may be, including in the car, at the beach or pool, during hot weather and holidays, and at play..

Swimming pools

Swimming pools provide hours of fun for the whole family so long as a few simple safety rules are followed:

  • children should never be left unsupervised and children under 5 should always have an adult swimming within arm’s reach of them
  • nominate a designated ‘child supervisor’ during parties or large gatherings to make sure children are supervised at all times
  • have some rules about locking gates, waiting for a grown up, no running or diving and no rough play
  • make sure the pool fencing and gate meet safety standards. This includes having a self closing gate
  • learn CPR or update CPR skills annually and make sure young children learn to swim. Water confidence prevents drownings
  • always make sure the pool gate is firmly shut.


Pool fencing

The Swimming Pools Act 1992 requires swimming pools to be surrounded on all sides by a fence and also to have a child-resistant gate, which should be kept closed at all times. The Act defines a swimming pool as any excavation, structure or vessel that is capable of being filled with water to a depth greater than 30 centimetres. This includes spa baths and portable/inflatable pools.

Pool owners are required by law to conduct a self-assessment of the safety of their pool and to register their pool with the NSW Swimming Pool Register. In addition, a pool compliance certificate must be obtained from the local council. This is valid for 3 years.

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Last updated: 26 Aug 2019
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