|But rarely do we give as much thought to protecting the most important thing of all – the lives of those we love. Hands up everyone whose first thought on getting a pool was: First Aid course? Check.
Swimming is fabulous fun, great exercise and an excellent way to cool off in hot weather. But along with all of the fun of swimming comes potential danger. Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for Australian children aged 0 to five years. This statistic highlights the importance of being as safe as possible near the water – and a serious reminder of the benefits of doing a first aid course.
The great thing is that first aid courses are available in most areas and are often held on the weekend. Most take one day to complete and a basic Community First Aid course can cost as little as $55 from St John Ambulance. Pool area CPR charts are compulsory in most Australian states and territories. Royal Life Saving has a number of CPR related resources and courses available including a CPR chart that can be used near your backyard swimming pool and CPR courses that are run in a variety of locations across all States and Territories. You can buy the Royal Lifesaving CPR chart from your local Swimart store.
Here's how every pool owner can benefit from knowing first aid:
1. You learn to stay calm
Nothing makes you panic more than feeling helpless or out of control. The trouble is that when you panic, not only does that stop you from thinking clearly and acting rationally, it can make those around you panic too (including the patient). It’s amazing what the knowledge that comes with taking a first aid course can do for your ability to stay calm in an emergency.
2. You learn what to do
First aid techniques are constantly evolving, so if you did a course in high school, or a few years ago at work, it’s important to take a refresher. For example, the number of breaths to compressions in CPR has changed in the past few years. It’s now 30 compressions followed by two breaths. Remember that drowning isn’t the only potential danger around a pool. Kids love to run and jump, which brings with it the risk of scrapes, cuts, broken bones and head injuries.
3. You have the confidence to act
Many people have died in an emergency simply because good people didn’t act. Not because they didn’t want to, but they were afraid of making the situation worse because they didn’t know what to do. There’s no longer wait than the wait for an ambulance, and the result of doing nothing before professional help arrives can be fatal.