80 Per Cent Of NSW Swimming Pools Are Unsafe, Says Royal Life Saving NSW

28/11/2015 7:49 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
In this photo taken on Thursday, May 21, 2015, Jake Hall, 10, dives into a backyard pool in Long Beach, Calif. As residents struggle to reduce potable water consumption by 25 percent, the California Pool and Spa Association is promoting a campaign called Let’s Pool Together and aggressively lobbying water districts to quash proposed bans on filling pools and spas. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The majority of backyard swimming pools in New South Wales have been deemed 'unsafe', with Royal Life Saving NSW revealing 80 per cent of the state's 350,000 registered pools would fail an initial compliance inspection.

According to figures extracted from local councils, Royal Life Saving NSW believes the safety regulations designed to prevent backyard drownings are being adhered to by a 'deeply concerning' minority of pool owners.

With 83 children drowning in backyard swimming pools across the state during the past 13 years, Royal Life Saving NSW operations manager Michael Ilinsky said it was "deeply concerning" how many pools were not compliant.

"In the last 10 years alone, at least 1,000 children have been admitted to hospital due to immersion in pools," Ilinsky said.

"Seventy children suffered neurological damage as a result of immersion in a pool -- that is horrific."

Mr Ilinsky said three measures would go along way to preventing more deaths and injuries, starting with an evaluation of your pool.

"If a pool gate isn't closing properly, please get it fixed. If your fence needs some kind of repair, take action," he said.

Secondly, Royal Life Saving claimed the standard of supervision was underestimated in Australia and that an occasional glance was not enough.

Royal Life Saving also stressed the need for Australians to learn CPR skills.

"Losing a life through accidental drowning can happen in a matter of seconds," NSW Minister for Local Government Paul Toole said.

"As the summer season arrives, homeowners and carers should be vigilant in maintaining safety and supervision near pools and swimming areas.

"We can avoid drowning deaths and injuries by ensuring child-resistant pool fences are well maintained and pool gates are self-closing or self-latching and regularly checked.

"Pool owners should also register their pool with their local council or online if they have not already done so."

Safety checklists are available from www.bepoolsafe.com.au.

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