Pool Supervision FAQs – Keeping our children safe

1) What is a Pool Supervision Policy?

It is a set of entry conditions educating the public about active supervision and requiring caregivers to take on the responsibility of this role while visiting aquatic facilities.

2) Why was the Pool Supervision Policy developed?

Children need individualised supervision. Lifeguards watch over everyone and it is up to caregivers to be their child’s personal lifeguard. Incidents around water happen in an instant – children are inquisitive and fearless and drowning can be a silent process.

3) What are my responsibilities?

There are two key supervision guidelines:

Under 5 years: Children must be constantly supervised and to remain within arm’s reach of a designated caregiver 16 years or older. (If the child is in the water, the caregiver must be in the water too).

Under 10 years: Children aged 5 to under 10 years old must be accompanied into the pool facility and constantly supervised by a caregiver 16 years or older who remains on the pool surrounds that the child is swimming in. The caregiver must be able to see, hear and be heard by the child.

4) What does active supervision mean?

Active supervision means watching the child/ren at all times and being able to provide immediate help.

The caregiver must be close enough to see the child, be seen by the child, hear the child and be heard by the child.

Active Supervision is not using a mobile phone, in another pool, lap swimming, in a group that is engaged in discussion, in the changing room or toilet.

5) My child is a competent swimmer. Why do I need to be supervising them if they are under ten years old?

• Under 10 years is the age that most children are still at primary school.

• Our swimming pools are public facilities where various situations could occur.

• Pool Supervision Policy is not only about swimming ability, it is also keeping safe within a public environment.

• Regardless of a child’s swimming ability, if they happened to get hurt or becomes distressed, a caregiver within close vicinity can act on the incident immediately.

6) I can see them (Under 5) from the side of the pool. Why do I need to be in the water with them?

• It is very easy and quick for the young children (even the confident ones) to get out of their depth unintentionally.

• Parents on the side of the pool can easily become distracted by other siblings, friends arriving or blocked vision by taller children. It only takes a moment for a child to become distressed in the water.

7) I will jump in if I need to, but I do not want to enter the water.

• Refer response to question 6.

• This has become a condition of entry.

• If you do not comply with the conditions of entry you are welcome to go to reception for a refund on your entry fees.

8) My child is attending an AUT Millennium swim school lesson, do I have to stay?

• Yes, caregivers must accompany all children aged under 10 years to their lesson.

• For children under 5 years, caregivers must remain on the pool surrounds within view of the child (if the class does not requires them to be in the pool during the lesson).

• Children aged 5 years to under 10 years, caregivers must be on the premise throughout the lesson and easily located.

9) What if I have one child swimming and one child in lessons?

• If a caregiver has two or more children attending lessons/programmes one after another, the caregiver must remain with the child/ren not participating in the lesson.

• If the caregiver wishes to watch the lesson of another child in their care, the other children must remain out of the water with the caregiver.

• If the caregiver is participating in the swimming lesson e.g. in the water attending a babies’ class, any other child in their care under 10 years must have an additional caregiver out of the water with them at all times.

10) I’ve always dropped my child off in the carpark to attend their AUT Millennium swim school lesson, can I still do this?

• No, members of the swim school aged under 10 years must be accompanied by a caregiver to their lesson.

• In doing so, the caregiver (in effect) hands supervision of the child over to the teacher/coach.

• The caregiver can leave the pool area however must return to collect the child from the teacher/coach by the time the lesson is finished. Refer response to question 8.

• The child must not leave the pool facility on their own.

11) Do children participating in a swim school lesson or attending a club training have to wear wristbands?

• Children under 16 years participating in a structured lesson or programme with the supervision of a teacher/coach will not be required to wear a wristband during their lesson.

• However, if they intend to swim before or after their lesson, wristbands need to be purchased at reception and our Pool Supervision Rules apply.

12) Can I grab a coffee, read a book or use my phone whilst watching my child?

• No. It is important to remember that active supervision is about constantly watching and always having a clear view of your child.

• You can grab a coffee if the child you are caring for accompanies you.

• Remember, it only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown, so an incident may easily occur during a short lapse in supervision.