As the region move into the warmer months, Hilltops Council is urging pool owners to make pool safety a priority.
According to Hilltops Council the National Drowning Report 2021 reported 294 drownings occurred from the 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.
The report said 25 of these drownings were in the 0-4 year old age group and 13 drowned in a bathtub/spa or swimming pool.
Council believes young children are at an especially high risk of drowning, particularly as they become more mobile and curious about their surroundings.
"Prolonged periods of stay-at-home directions mean many of us are working and schooling from home," a Council spokesperson said.
"This is challenging for parents and carers, causing an increase of the likelihood of distractions around the home environment which can increase the likelihood of lapses in child supervision."
"Under the Swimming Pool Act 1992, owners of any swimming pool or spa capable of holding 30cm or more of water (including those that are portable and inflatable) are legally required to register them on the NSW Swimming Pool Register - this can be done for free at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au," the spokesperson said.
"Pools and spas that hold 2000 litres of water or more may also need development consent from Council."
COUNCIL ADVICE FOR HOME POOL SAFETY:
- Pools must be surrounded with a child-resistant safety barrier that separates the swimming pool(s) from any residential building and any place adjoining the property
- Doors and gates that provide access to the swimming pool MUST be kept closed at all times
- Cardiopulmonary Resusciation (CPR) Signage must be displayed near the pool and
- All fences surrounding pools are designed, constructed, installed and maintained to comply with the relevant Australian Standards.
"Council are urging pool and spa owners and tenants of properties with a pool or a spa to complete a simple Home Pool Check It Fix It Watch It check list," the spokesperson said.
"This check list and others can be found on the swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au, on the Hilltops Council Website or a hard copy can be obtained from Hilltops Council Customer Service Offices."
Council has said while the checklist provides a useful tool for pool safety, nothing replaces the need for children to be actively supervised around the water.