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Safety measures lacking in residential pools, experts say.

Dubai: Adequate safety measures are lacking at residential pools in the city, experts have said, in the wake of yet another drowning of a child.

There is not adequate water safety legislation in place and this together with lack of community awareness places children at great risk, said Tracy Fountain, Founder of Back to Basics, who offers training on child injury prevention and pediatric first aid.

Self-latching pool gates should be enforced for all private pools and updated instructions should be available at every pool including emergency rescue floating devices, she said.

Pool parties are very common here, and rather than the age of the children attending, it is the level of supervision that is more significant, she noted.

"Children's inquisitive nature to explore puts them at risk as their ability doesn't always match."

Hosts should identify the strong/weak swimmers and get parents to agree to be water monitors and be allocated specific children, she said. There should also be a safety briefing prior to the party, Fountain added.

"No parties involving children should be allowed around a pool unless a life saver is present. This could be either supplied by the building authority or by the party giver," said Lesley Murray,

Swim Director at Speedo SwimSquads.

"Everyone can empathise with the grief of the parents but it does pay to check out the safety arrangements that party givers have made before allowing your child to attend."

If you are not happy with the life saving arrangements then do not send your child, she urged.

"Buildings with no lifesavers on duty have no way of telling if a child is on its own." Some, however, have access codes up quite high so that small children cannot enter. "This may be the simplest way to ensure that at least the younger children cannot gain entry to a potentially lethal facility."

Education about water safety for both parents and children and enrolling your child for swim lessons with a recognised provider are some of the preventive steps, Murray said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 27, 2012
Words:354
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