Pool Spa Life
Pool Spa Life

Pool toy safety

Quick tips

Pool toys can provide plenty of fun around the pool, but they also present risk of injury or other harm if they aren’t used and stored properly.

Royal Life Saving Australia recommends parents and other supervising adults follow a few simple steps to ensure that everyone stays safe and that every day of swimming is a fun one.

1.       Don’t leave toys in or around the pool

Pool toys like noodles, floaties, dive rings, inflatable rafts, beachballs and kickboards are appealing to kids by design. Brightly coloured and patterned, they will attract the attention of little ones both inside and outside the pool area if left laying or floating around. Removing toys and inflatables from the water and securely storing them out of sight and reach removes the temptation.

2.       Don’t be fooled

When kids use inflatable toys, noodles and swimming aids like floaties, it’s easy to think they are more capable swimmers than they really are. Don’t wander off when supervising, stay close and keep an eye on everyone, as even strong swimmers can run into trouble.

3.       Pool toys aren’t life saving devices

Except as a last resort, pool toys shouldn’t be used to reach someone in trouble. Royal Life Saving suggests that pool owners invest in a reach pole or personal flotation device and store them securely near the pool for use in emergency situations.

4.       Check age and weight ranges

Pool toys are sold with recommended age and weight ranges marked on the packaging. Make sure your choices are suitable for your kids, to ensure they’ll behave as expected – the toys that is, not the kids. But that does bring us to another point – pool toys should only be used as recommended by the manufacturer, to avoid any damage or malfunction that could present a drowning risk.  

5.       Floaties should fit

Swim floaties are a great way to build confidence in young swimmers, but they are not safety devices. Royal Life Saving says floaties should have three inflatable chambers and must fit snugly around the child’s arms.

6.       Deflate when not in use

Inflatables, including swim floaties, should be deflated when not in use. Rafts, rings, floaties and other inflatables should always be inspected for leaks or damaged valves before use.

Pool toys are fun, but they’re no replacement for active adult supervision. Always keep an eye on the kids in, on, and around water.

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