A young child at a swimming pool. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: As the weather starts to warm up a bit, this is the perfect season for families to rush to the swimming pool and take a plunge in icy, cool waters.

Families with pools in their homes have been advised on how to carry out proper maintenance and the rules to follow in order to prevent accidents from happening.

The most recent drowning incident took place last February when an 18-month-old Omani boy drowned in a swimming pool inside a villa in Ras Al Khaimah.

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Abu Dhabi Police called on landlords of residential buildings to increase the level of supervision in the swimming pool area, and urged parents not to leave their children unattended, or let them swim alone without an adult present.

“Children under the ages of three should never be left alone in houses or buildings with swimming pools as they are more likely to have an accident if left unsupervised,” said police.

“The main cause of children’s accidents is due to neglect, as the family are required to watch them at all times and not be preoccupied. Also, the adult accompanying the child should also know how to swim and be able to rescue the child in the event of an emergency.”

Other cases of drownings, as reported by Abu Dhabi Police, were caused by children swimming alone at the pool, neglect, slippery floors and being thrown into the pool.

The 5 rules

To prevent children from drowning, police urged parents and landlords to:

  1. Install a fence around the swimming pool area
  2. Ensure there is a non-slippery floor around the pool. Make sure floats, tubes, toys and cleaning equipment are stored away from the water when they're not in use
  3. Provide swimming equipment, such as life jackets and arm floats
  4. Close all the doors that lead to the swimming pool
  5. Never leave the child unattended and watch them at all times