Safety policy requires wristbands

Safety first...Gore Aquatic Services manager Martin Mackereth holds arm bands swimmers under-8- years old and caregivers supervising under-5-years-old will need to wear while swimming at the pool from Saturday on. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Caregivers of swimmers under the age of 5 at the Gore Aquatic Centre will have to wear a wristband from May 29.

Swimmers from 5 to 8 years old will also need to wear a wristband.

Aquatic services manager Martin Mackereth said wearing a wristband would help identify patrons who had to follow nationwide policies so that the facility received Poolsafe accreditation.

“A lot of other pools around New Zealand have already introduced putting bands or arm tags on [patrons],” Mr Mackereth said.

There were two rules at the pool for under-5-year-olds and under-8-year-olds that parents and caregivers might not be aware of, he said.

“Our under-5 rule is they must have an adult in the same body of water with them who can provide immediate assistance if they were to get into trouble.”

The adult had to be at least 16 years old.

The under-8 rule was that children had to be actively supervised by a caregiver 16 or older.

“That means watching them poolside but actively paying attention.”

Caregivers of swimmers under 5 will wear an orange wristband.

“That way we can quickly identify, when we have a large group of people in, that there is a parent matched up with that child.”

Under-8-year-olds will wear a green wristband.

Adults should not rely on lifeguards to look after young children, he said.

“We’re there to help respond if there is an emergency or an accident that needs to be seen to.”

Spending time at the pool was a great family activity.

“For me, personally, that time I spent with my kids in the pool was a fun, interactive time and a technology free time to be with them.”