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New Measures To Strengthen Safety In Council Pools

Turnstiles are to be used at all Manukau City Council-run swimming pools as part of a package of measures to control entry numbers and strengthen safety procedures. The control gates were installed at pools throughout the City last year but were not actively used.

City Manager Colin Dale says Council pools will remain free of charge. "But the control gates will ensure all children entering are under proper supervision with an adult or other guardian to look after them, and that the safety guidelines on maximum numbers of pool users are followed. If necessary we will close off access to the pool to newcomers temporarily on busy days when there are too many swimmers, until the numbers drop."

All reception areas are to be staffed at all times and entry cards will be given to everyone entering the building. The cards will have to put into the gates to allow entry. There will be three separate types of cards for adults, children, and spectators and additional cards for people using the pool on a regular basis such as children in aquatic programmes. Inside the pool building, lifeguards will also be checking that children are being actively supervised at all times to ensure the "no child alone" policy is followed.

" We always endeavour to follow the best practice guidelines and are constantly looking to enhance our supervisory procedures. These changes are part of that process," Colin Dale says. "There are clear OSH guidelines governing pool capacity and maintenance of water quality.

"Our lifeguards are all trained in first aid and have a nationally recognised qualification. But it is essential to emphasise the importance of responsible caregivers keeping a sharp eye at all times once children are in the water, particularly youngsters who cannot swim.

"In summer there can be hundreds of people in a pool at any time. Lifeguards are constantly patrolling but children can move like quicksilver. If they're in the deep pool they can be in water over their heads in a flash, and that must always be kept in mind."

The Council is producing a leaflet explaining safety and supervision requirements, and will also be looking at further measures to increase pool safety.


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