Keep Watch @ Public Pools program

Lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer is believed to be a contributing factor in 70% of all drowning deaths at public pools. The Keep Watch @ Public Pools program created by Royal Life Saving aims to eliminate all drowning deaths and reduce the number of near drowning incidents at these facilities.

Council supports the Keep Watch @ Public Pools program and requests that active supervision is undertaken by all parents and carers of children when using the pool. This means that parents/carers should be dressed ready to enter the pool, should be within arms reach of their child/children, should focus all attention on their child/children and should not leave their child/children alone in the pool for any amount of time or in the care of an older child or assume less responsibility when lifeguards are present.

  • Children (under 14 years) are not allowed entry unless under the active supervision of a person 18 years or older.
  • For 0–5 year olds and non-swimmers, a high visibility wristband will be worn as a means of identification, a parent or guardian needs to be in the water at all times and within arms' reach of the child. It is best if you are engaging with your child i.e. playing with them, talking to them.
  • Constant active supervision is required for children aged 6–10 years old. Parents and carers must be prepared to enter the water with this age group.
  • Parents and guardians of 11-14 year olds still need to regularly check their child by physically going to where they are located in or around the water. Although this age bracket is more independent parental supervision is still required to maintain safety.

How have the supervision requirements for Under 5s been developed? (Now identified with a high visibility wrist band)

The under 5 supervision requirement of ‘within arm’s reach’ has been based on a number of factors. Children under 5 are at most risk of fatal and non-fatal drowning, with drowning the number one accidental cause of death of children in this age group. This is also in line with research and best practice that has been used for over 15 years in other supervision messages. Children under 5 also lack the physical and mental capabilities to discern danger and get themselves out of trouble when in the water and therefore require close supervision. The Coroner has highlighted the importance of close supervision in children in this age group, as supervision is the main contributor to children under 5 drowning.


General pool rules and regulations

We have some rules and regulations that you need to be aware of when enjoying our swimming pools.

  • Swimmers must shower before entering the pool.
  • Appropriate swimwear must be worn at all times.
  • Do not use pools if you have suffered from diarrhoea in the past week.
  • Members and guests, not toilet trained must wear swim nappies.
  • Circle swimming is required when two or more swimmers occupy the same lane.
  • The 25m pool is a multi-use pool.
  • The lane/s are removed from any class/program or combination thereof with eight or more participants five minutes before class start time.
  • To prevent disruption of a class or program swimming, patrons are required to stay out of the area.
  • Children under the age of 14 years are not permitted without adult supervision - an adult must be at least 18 years old.
  • Nappies are not to be changed at poolside. Please make use of babies change room or male/female change-rooms.
  • Highfields Aquatic Centre encourages the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia (RLSSA) Keep Watch program.
  • Water toys may be used at the discretion of the lifeguard. Body boards and surfboards are not permitted.
  • Sitting or hanging on lap lanes is prohibited.
  • No glass, food or drinks (other than water) are allowed in the pool area.
  • Avoid eating or consuming alcoholic beverages before using the pool.
  • Members and guests must be at least 16 years of age to use the spa.
  • No alcohol is allowed within pool grounds.
  • Animals are prohibited.
  • Behaviour deemed not conducive to public safety will not be permitted.
  • Boisterous or dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • All pools are to be vacated during electrical storms.
  • The lifeguards have full authority to enforce rules in pool facilities.

Thunder and lightning policy

  • All pools will be closed for half an hour following the first sound of thunder or sighting of lightning.
  • All pools will remain closed until a half hour passes with no thunder and lightning.
  • Members and guests will be cleared of the pool facility in the event of thunder and lightning.

Water slide rules

  • Anyone wishing to use the slide must be at least 4 feet tall (122cm).
  • Only one person is permitted on the stairs at a time.
  • Adults are not permitted to go down the slide with a child or catch them at the bottom.
  • Swimmers wearing floatation devices are not permitted to use the slide.
  • You must go down the slide sitting or laying down face up and feet first on a mat.
  • Swimmers must move out of the base area immediately after exiting the slide.
  • Swimmers may not bring anything down the slide with him or her.

Swimwear policy

The swimwear policy across our pools is based on guidelines from the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia (RLSSA) and from Qld Health. The RLSSA Guideline for Safe Pool Operation makes references to appropriate swimwear in public pools.

Adequate & hygienic recognised swimwear made from lycra and nylon must be worn at all times in the water. Infants are required to wear only recognised waterproof aqua nappies plus tight leg swimwear.

While we are committed to sun safe practices, rash shirts are the recognised swimwear and not cotton tee shirts.

Unacceptable swimwear

If you do not wear the appropriate swimwear you will be asked to leave the water.

Inappropriate swimwear includes and is not limited to:

  • Denim
  • Cotton (including tee shirts)
  • Leotards
  • Underwear
  • Work clothes
  • Street clothes
  • Sport/gym clothes
  • Footwear.