All swimming pools and spas are required to have a CPR sign displayed in a prominent position within the pool enclosure. Would you be surprised to hear that a number of pool owners have no idea what this is! CardioPulmonary Resuscitation combines rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth) and chest compressions to temporarily pump enough blood to the brain until specialised treatment is available.
Sometimes a suitable position for the signage is not obvious, and in the examples below show locations that are clearly not suitable.
Example 1 shows the signage overlooking the pool however to be able to read the sign you would have to be in the pool! On top of that, there is no space to carry out resuscitation.
Example 2 shows a sign facing the pool however it is not installed within the bounds of the pool enclosure, so cannot be deemed compliant.
Example 3 shows a faded sign that does not meet the requirements to be securely affixed with four points of contact so is unlikely to be of any assistance in an emergency.
Example 4 shows what may have once been a suitable location however the vines have all but engulfed the sign and it cannot be read.
By following the suggestions below you will be well prepared for an emergency situation. Remember a well located CPR sign could save a life and it might be yours!
- Start by ensuring you are installing an approved CPR sign that contains the 3 mandatory phrases.
- Identify a suitable location ideally near to the shallow end of the pool where resuscitation is more likely to take place.
- Ensure that there is sufficient area to comfortably accommodate the patient and the person performing resuscitation.
- Avoid placing the signage overlooking rocky garden beds where clearly you would not lay a person to perform CPR
- Check that you can read the signage from a distance of 3 metres.
- Maintain your signage in good condition – dirty, cracked, split, faded and damaged signs are unlikely to be legible.
- Once you have identified a suitable location, don’t obscure the sign with furniture, plant pots or vegetation.
- Attach it to the upper portion of the fence so that the surface of the sign does not create a foothold.
- Lastly sign up for a CPR Class with St Johns Ambulance or Royal Life Saving Society.
- From September 2019, the mandatory wording is
- YOUNG CHILDREN SHOULD BE ACTIVELY SUPERVISED WHEN USING THIS SWIMMING POOL.
- POOL GATES MUST BE KEPT CLOSED AT ALL TIMES: and
- KEEP ARTICLES, OBJECTS AND STRUCTURES CLEAR OF THE POOL FENCE AT ALL TIMES.
“Active Supervision” means focusing all of your attention on your children all of the time, when they are in and around the water.
So save your mobile phone for calling an ambulance rather than reading your email. Also no cooking and dining, no clothes-lines and other activities that distract from active supervision are permitted within the bounds of the pool enclosure. Avoid leaving your older siblings in charge of the young ones, as they may not have the ability to re-act in a emergency situation and are unlikely to know how to perform CPR while they call out for help. Seconds matter.