P1050091It is no secret that many Britons escape the wet weather to warmer climates during many parts of the year. Often these warmer places offer recreational activities in the form of water sports that can take place at the beach or at the poolside. While certain tourist areas and certain types of holiday accommodations (for example hotels) will often employ a lifeguard to oversee the health of its guests, when it comes to self-catering holiday this responsibility falls on your shoulders.

Self-catering is a growing form of family holiday in which you rent a luxury home (often a villa or cottage) for the entire duration of your stay. In warm climates and in certain European countries such as Croatia, France, Italy as well as others private holiday accommodation will traditionally include a private swimming pool. Due to the nature of this type of holiday, you are responsible for the safe use of the pool as well as other areas around the home. When it comes to family holiday, you have to pay extra attention to safety matters, as it is all too easy to let your guard down. There are certain tips that when adhered to could help ensure you have a most satisfying time.

Ensure Hazard Free Area – When you arrive at the location, walk around the pool area to ensure there are no hazards near it. Look for exposed pipes, wet areas, lack of floatation aids and familiarise yourself with the manner in which you can exit the pool (often a ladder, but may also be a shallow area).

Learn Its Use – Ensure that you are aware of the safe operation of the pool. It can include the manner in which you cover it at night, top up the water and how you are meant to contact an engineered should you discover a problem.

Round Up The Kids and Explain Its Risks – Set strict guidelines of when the pool should be used and how. When in use, an adult should always be present to oversee its safe use. This should apply in cases when kids use the pool OR play in its vicinity. If a child is missing at any time when indoors, look at the pool area first.

Buddy System – If your party consists of older kids, you should suggest using a buddy system. It means that whenever someone is using the pool, someone else at the home is aware of it.

Consider Hiring A Lifeguard – Holiday homes can accommodate very large groups. If you have many members, you should consider hiring a local lifeguard to come and oversee its use for at least part of the day. After all you are meant to be on holiday… Often, such service can include swimming lessons for those with less experience.

Enjoying water sports and activities at your private pool is the ultimate in luxury holiday. Just make sure you give health and safety its due attention.

Written by Affair Travel. London based ABTA/ATOL travel agent offering France villas with pool in many parts of France from the Dordogne region to the Atlantic Coast cost.

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I've worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years dealing with physical and mental health patients, both in hospitals and the community. Living a healthy, well balanced life with a good diet, regular exercise and a taking a positive outlook are crucial to becoming a very well being indeed - sometimes easier said than done!

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