Swimming and other water activities are fun and healthy ways to be physically active, although there are potential risks.
One of the risks recently ended in tragedy for the family of Nigerian music star, David Adeleke, better known as Davido, when his 3-year-old son, Ifeanyi, drowned in a swimming pool at his residence in Banana Island, Lagos State.
THE WHISTLER spoke with parents and swim instructors about having a pool at home and how to avoid tragedies.
Swimming pool at home Dangerous parents
Parents who have viewed this website have expressed differing opinions about having a swimming pool at home. While some said it was a good idea, others said it was fraught with danger for family and visitors.
Father-of-two Henry Akwitti said: “It’s nice to have a swimming pool at home when you need it so badly. In this part of the world, many people who have a swimming pool at home rarely use it optimally. For some, it adds aesthetic value to their home, and for others, it’s just a show-stopper.
“To avoid the tragedy of the swimming pool at home, parents must be accommodating and pay attention to their domestic staff’s belongings and behaviors. They must ensure that their domestic staff are supervised and instructed in child protection principles.
“In addition, parents should ensure that the edge of the pool is protected with a chain-link fence and keys, remote CCTV cameras and instructions that the edge of the pool should only be entered with a Authorization strongly underlined. Additionally, parents should ensure that the time domestic staff spend alone with their baby is very minimal.
Akwitti, who said he likes swimming, however, said he does not have a swimming pool in his house. He said: “Although I don’t have a swimming pool at home, I took my children for swimming lessons. Swimming is a vital skill and I would like my children to learn to swim.
On the question of whether he will leave his baby with a domestic staff if he has a swimming pool at home, he said: “With all the recommendations listed above in place, yes, I could leave my baby with my domestic staff, even though I have a swimming pool at home. »
On the contrary, Abuja-based father-of-one Mazi Agwu said having a swimming pool at home is dangerous regardless of precautions.
“Home swimming pools are quite dangerous, I would strongly advise any parent not to build a swimming pool in the enclosure, especially where there are small children, but if the children are older it is easier to manage.
“I will suggest people not to open swimming pools at home unless there are laws that state that if you build swimming pools in residential areas, you will put on childproof protective aids to prevent injury. “, said Agwu.
On whether he will have a pool at home, Agwu said, “I would rather use a general pool than owning a private pool at home, because of the risk involved, the risk is higher. So I will attend or join a general pool in my area, it is much more preferable for me.
However, he said swimming is a skill everyone should have: “Everyone should know how to swim, not just some people. In an emergency, like a flood or things like that, if you can’t swim, I wonder what will happen. So everyone should learn to swim, it’s a good skill for any go-getter.
“But owning a private swimming pool is where the danger arises because Mr. A and B may know how to swim, but Mr. C and D may not know how to swim and you all share a complex, in such a situation, damage can happen to people who can’t swim and it’s not a skill people are born with, it has to be learned.
Train your child from the first year – swimming instructors
The swimming instructors who spoke to THE WHISTLER highlighted tips for avoiding tragedy at home, but stressed the need for parents to teach children how to swim.
Judge Toom, swimming instructor at Justswim Academy, Abuja, said; “Having a swimming pool at home where there are small children? First of all, if you haven’t trained them to swim, there should be break-ins around the pool with a lock at all times.
“So when the kids go there alone, it’s protected, and even if your kids know how to swim, it should be protected in case a child or a visitor from the neighbor has access to the pool.
“Secondly, there are swimming pool covers with which you can protect it, even when they step on it, it does not fall. When you have a swimming pool at home, you must teach your child to swim.
Toom said children can start swimming lessons at the age of one. He said: “Once the child has clocked a year, parents can start putting them in the water. At one year they are not afraid because they don’t know the dangers of anything, most children this age relax in the water.
“But at three years old, they already know the good of life and most of them are afraid of water. So if you start training them at one year old before they reach three years old, most of them can kick. When we teach children how to float in water before they are three years old, they can, and even when they fall in water, they flip, face, and float.
While outlining what to do in the event of a drowning, he said: “That’s the importance of swimming lessons, most of the training we do now is aimed at eradicating the drowning aspect in our country. A swimming pool must be far from the access of children, it must be located where only an adult can open it.
On how to avoid pool drama at home, he said: ‘If your pool is at the back, make sure the back door is always locked, to prevent children from going in. back or better yet empty the pool when not in use, even if they eventually gain access they will encounter an empty pool. A private pool is easier to fill.
“If you must have a pool at home and you don’t have enough domestic staff to protect the pool at all costs, there shouldn’t be a private pool without a protector.”
Mr Charlybuck Charles, Swimming Instructor at Multiflex Academy, Lifecamp, said: “Every domestic swimming pool should be fenced with barbed wire to prevent children from having access to the pool. Second, there should be a CCTV camera. According to my instructor level, every member of the family should be able to learn basic swimming skills.
He said children should start swimming lessons at the age of three. “At this age they should be familiar with water and before they reach the age of five they should be able to swim in depth.
“At the age of one, children will only play in water but that does not mean they can swim unsupervised.
“In my experience there should be plenty of swimming devices like floats and floaterkeys, a three year old can use floats and they come in sizes, any one in place can save a child from drowning , and each private swimming pool should be fenced, so that children cannot access it.