Safety tips for a home swimming pool

Wednesday May 15 2019

Measures.  A swimming pool covered with a net.

Measures. A swimming pool covered with a net. COURTESY PHOTO  

By Charlotte Ninsiima

Kampala. On November 6, 2018, Daily Monitor reported a 13-year-old boy who had drowned in a swimming pool at Mestil Hotel in Nsambya, after a lifeguard had moved away shortly to a nearby play centre.

On Monday evening, the twin boys, aged 2, of the State Minister for Water Ronald Kibuule also drowned in a swimming pool at home under unclear circumstances.

Mr George William Musoke, the vice president of Uganda Life Saving Federation, shares tips on how to scout for a suitable swimming pool. He says regardless of age anyone can drown in less than three seconds.

Under supervision
A suitable pool should be supervised with a recognised life guard, and equipped with a register for attendees; with provision of signing in and out.
The basis of contract between the hotel and individual helps to counteract any uncertainties in case the pool is insured.

“The swimming pool should be located in an enclosed area from the rest of the places, kept clean and clear with no clutter of bottles or construction rubble to prevent any accidents,” Mr Musoke says.
Ms Irene Ahumuza, a swimming coach at Greenhill Academy, says the swimming pool should be demarcated with shallow and the deep end. “This should include specific age groups permitted to each end.

Therefore, children ought to seek permission to differentiate between the shallow and deep end,” Ms Ahumuza says.
Mr Musoke emphasises that the swimming pool area must have notice boards which cite the ground rules and regulations.
“Before any activity, everyone must read on arrival at the pool,” he says.

Life guard particulars
Lifeguards ought to be focused, available and away from distractions such as the phone and alcohol consumption.
Also, check if the lifeguard is certified and trained to administer first aid and resuscitate a life. If they should leave the pool premises, then they ought to notify with an indication or sign of no swimming.

Mr Moses Kalanzi, the executive director and co-founder of Swim Safe Uganda, demonstrates how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a drowned victim.
“Lay the person flat on the ground, fill air in the victim through mouth to mouth, then do 30 compressions on the chest. Thereafter, blow air twice into the victim’s mouth and repeat the tactic again.”

Lifeguard must be sufficient to the number of people in the pool, he says.

“Depending on the age group on condition they are in the reach out area such as the shallow end, not deep end and they have an idea on floating; two to five children below seven years require one lifeguard, five to 10 children require two lifeguards, 11 to 18 children below 18 years require two lifeguards,” Mr Kalanzi explains.

“However, if the mentioned groups have no swimming skills, then its one person to one lifeguard,” he adds.