National Check Your Pool Gate Month – Sense of Summer

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ummer is finally here! Like you, we’re looking forward to BBQs, backyard cricket and lots of time spent in the pool. And this year, more than ever, we’re planning on making the most of the summer by enjoying as much time with our families as possible, at home and in the pool.

We’ve rounded up some great tips to ensure that everyone has a wonderful and safe summer. From sun safety advice, to “staycation” tips, to safeguarding your backyard, pool and pool fence and gate, we’ve got it all. So what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in…

Keep your loved ones safe this swimming season with this handy pool safety plan. POOL GATES

Gate should open outwards, away from the pool Latch release knob at least 1500mm above ground level


Gate must be self-closing and self-latching Gate hinges should be rust-free and bind-free Gate carries reliable, tension-adjustable hinges Latch cannot be key locked in the “open” position Latch cannot be disengaged using implements Gate latch cannot be disengaged by jolting or shaking Gate will shut securely from any open angle or force Gate complies with all Australian Standards for pools


Fence panels should be secure and in good working order

Don’t be left out in the cold! Get your pool gates checked. Only half of all pool owners know if their pool gate and fence complies with current Australian & NZ fencing Standards.

There should be no gaps or holes in the fence Check for missing, loose, or rusted fence screws Gap under fence to ground should be less than 100mm Objects that a child could climb on should be removed Remove all toys from the pool so they are not tempting Lock all pool chemicals in an area well away from children IMPORTANT: Information above is supplied and expressed by D&D Technologies in the interests of consumer and public safety. For specific details or copies of Australian Standards relating to gate and fence safety please contact Standards Australia in your nearest city, or by calling the national office on 1800 035 822, or visit


ONLY 56% of pool owners have the best gate safety protection in place.

MagnaLatch® ALERT

The ultimate MagnaLatch for safety! A magnetic child safety gate latch with in-built electronic visual and audible alarms. Key lockable.

Be a great mate. Fix your gate! It only takes a few minutes to check that your pool fences and gates, including latches and hinges, are in good working order. It’s so easy to install or upgrade latches, so don’t delay if you need them. To help you get Summer Ready, claim your $20 Bunnings gift card as a cashback reward when you upgrade the safety of your pool fence. We recommend the Australian-made and -invented MagnaLatch® magnetic safety gate latches and TruClose® polymer gate hinges (no rust). They are the safest, most effective option for gates and have saved countless children’s lives over the past 30 years.

MagnaLatch® Series 3

Our regular, time-honoured magnetic child safety gate latch with advanced locking features. Key lockable.

MagnaLatch® Side Pull Lockable

A smaller, general-purpose magnetic gate latch for metal or glass pool or household gates. Key lockable.

TruClose® Hinges

Adjustable, self-closing hinges for child-safety or general-purpose gates. Available in a range of models to suit gate materials and regular or heavy duty applications.

TruClose Hinge Safety Cap Helps prevent toddlers using the bottom gate hinge as a climbing foothold.

Play it safe


There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than at the pool with friends and family. Everyone can have fun in the sun with these simple pool prep and safety tips.


Prepare the party area by locking away any pool or garden chemicals, pool brush and vacuum.


Set up a ‘kids only’ area or table, complete with water, sunscreen, hats, dry towels and snacks. This will keep them away from your beautifully arranged platters and BBQ area, and keep the mess contained to one area.


First things first. Point out the toilet(s) to your guests (the younger ones especially), so that there are no nasty surprises in the pool.


Check the swimming ability of each child present with both the child and their responsible adult. Does anyone need floaties or a swim vest? Supervision is key.


Before even a toe gets wet, make sure everyone knows your pool and rules. Rules should include no running around the pool, no pushing, no eating or drinking near the pool and no rough play, such as holding each other underwater.


Wait! Just before they leap, point out where the deep and shallow ends are and whether there are any steps, ladders or drop-offs to be aware of.


If possible, set up the eating and entertaining area in a space where all children (especially those under the age of five) are supervised. Share the parent-load around and take it in turns with the other adults to be in charge of the Pool Crew.


Be the Fun Police, not the Bad Cop. Encourage water games such as Marco Polo, water volleyball, swim races or, if age-appropriate, diving for treasure at the bottom of the pool. We bet that you’ll have just as much fun as the kids.


Almost there! Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap.



ways to safely enjoy your pool

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under five years of age in Australia. In the past year, 12 children in Australia aged 0-4 lost their lives to drowning* Former Australian Olympic Swimming Coach and child water safety ambassador Laurie Lawrence, and his daughter Emma, have made it their goal to spread the water safety message to Aussies via their KidsAlive™ – Do the Five water safety program, to help reduce the number of drownings in under 5s to zero. The KidsAlive™ community service program educates the public on five important steps to reduce the risk of preschool drowning. *The Royal Lifesaving National Drowning Report 2020.










KIDS ALIVE DO THE FIVE This year Laurie and Emma launched the KidsAlive™ Couch Concert series which is available on the KidsAlive™ website and includes book-readings, a craft corner, dance routines and puppet shows. These are an easy way to share the water-safety message with children. Parents can also download the free KidsAlive™ – Do The Five app for Apple that provides practical and useful tips to keep kids safe around water.

Let’s get this pool party started 1. Check your equipment It’s easy to let pool maintenance slide during the cooler months. Before you jump in, take some time to check the efficiency of your pool pump, filter, cleaner, hoses and chlorinator. By checking these parts regularly you’ll ensure that your water quality is tip-top – and can save you money in the long run. If you have a pool cover, examine it for signs of wear and tear, which can prevent it working properly.

2. Ensure the pH level is within healthy levels Your pool’s pH level should always remain between 7.2 and 7.6. Most pool shops offer a complimentary service to ensure your pH levels are within range and can offer advice if you need to add any pool chemicals. 3. Chlorinate the pool Not all nasties can be seen. To ensure you’re swimming in germ-free water, it pays to use chlorine regularly. Chlorine levels should remain at 2-3 PPM to disinfect all micro-organisms.

4. Keep Total Alkalinity in check Total alkalinity should be in the range of 60 to 200 parts per million (ppm). In swimming pools the accepted range is 120 to 160ppm, while for spas, the accepted range is 60 to 150ppm. 5. Do your housework Even the pool needs a good vacuum and brush every few days. Cleaning your pool regularly removes any algae and ensures inviting, clean pool water throughout the year.

Outdoor fun for everyone Keep cool and get creative this summer. We’ve come up with some easy-to-follow suggestions, but why not ask your kids for some ideas too? 1. HAVE A FRIENDLY COMPETITION

Choose some teams and challenge each other! The pool is a great place to cool off and play some games as a family. Here are some of our favourites: Ping Pong Hunt – with a marker pen, draw numbers on ping pong balls, throw them into the pool and have two teams or two kids try to collect the most balls. Beach-Ball Seals – each child has a beach ball and must push it from one end of the pool to the other using only their nose. First to the end wins! Octopus – one player stands in the middle of the pool and the other player(s) try to cross the pool. Each player the middle player touches joins him/her in the middle as the octopus grows. The last player standing is the winner. The Pool Is Lava – grab a water pistol and fill it up. The players have to make it from one side of the pool to the other without being squirted. It’s a great way to encourage kids to use their breath and strength to swim underwater.


Turn the lights off and look upwards. Stargazing is guaranteed to get your kids off their devices and eyes towards the sky, searching for a planet, comet, shooting star or even a space station. Download a stargazing app (there are loads available for free, such as SkyView) and point your camera to the sky. There’s a whole new world up there to discover.


When was the last time you enjoyed the serenity of your garden and its visiting wildlife? While you’re camping in the backyard use the time to watch and identify birds, butterflies (take a look at Butterflies Australia’s app), skippers and moths who visit. Or download a bird call app to find out 3. SHARE ‘SPOOKY’ STORIES which feathered friend woke you up What’s a camping trip without some scary stories? at 5am! Take some photographs, write Snuggle up and share the spookiest story you can some notes about their behaviour and imagine. If your children are too young (or you’re too you may soon have a budding bird frightened!) play the ‘add-on’ story game. lover on your hands. Encourage and Start with the first player who begins the story, attract wildlife and keep idle hands setting the scene in one sentence, before passing busy by building a bird bath or feeder the story baton onto the next player. for the garden. It’s a great project for Who knows where the tale will end? the whole family!


If a campsite, roaring fire and sleeping bags have been part of your summer plans for as long as you can remember, don’t let the current travel restrictions hold you back. What could be better than a camping staycation? You’ve got all the fun and adventure that comes with camping, but this year it’s without the shower queues and long drive. All you need is a little space, and a lot of imagination. You can use your usual tent, or you can DIY, with your own ‘glamping’ tent, or waterproof cover. Bring the mattresses out of the house, add some sleeping bags and pillows and you’re all set. (If your children are old enough you may even be able to sleep in your own bed while they discover their inner Huckleberry Finn). As the sun sets, string some lights in the trees for some authentic outback sparkle and light up the firepit or BBQ. Don’t forget the marshmallows too: you can challenge your children to find the best roasting stick (just dip it in water first so that it doesn’t burn).

It’s time to deck-orate the halls! Whether you prefer thoroughly traditional Christmas decorations and colour scheme or prefer to mix and match, there are no right or wrong ways to adorn your joyful home. Make it a family activity - get the kids to make some paper streamers, put some Christmas carols on and hang the baubles together. It’s guaranteed to get you into the festive mood.

1. The welcoming touch Make your own Australian nativethemed Christmas wreath for your front door. Gather branches and flowers from any native bushes or trees in your garden (or your neighbour’s garden – ask them first though!) such as gum branches proteas, wattles and bottlebrush flowers. All you need is a festiveprinted ribbon, paint and a florist ring to put it all together. 2. A lunch fit for the Three Kings Your Christmas meal will taste just that little bit better if you’d put some thought and effort into your festive table setting. Lay a linen tablecloth down and add a festive floral arrangement to the centre. Use your prettiest crockery and glassware or place them on a table nearby so that people can choose their own before they’re

seated. Choose a colour palette for your setting and coordinate cutlery, napkins, table runners and decorations accordingly. 3. Seasonal planting Spend a few dollars at your local nursery and display red and green potted plants such as dwarf conifers, poinsettias, petunias and woolly bush on your patio. Ask the kids to paint a few of your old terracotta pots in red, white or green exterior paint and you will have a striking display that will last well past Christmas or can be used again next year. 4. Create a chill out area Create welcoming and practical spaces in your backyard by placing a large mat on the ground for lounging, fold-up chairs for sitting, and a table for sitting at before and

after the meal. A handy holiday hosting hint is to create a dedicated drinks station which holds extra glasses and the drinks in the esky or tub filled with ice. 5. Dress up your pool A dip in the pool on Christmas Day is the perfect opportunity for the kids to try out their new pool toys. Set up a ‘lifeguard station’, complete with towels, sunscreen, water and hats. 6. Light up your backyard with citronella candles, tea lights in jars, crystal ball bubble lights, LED fairy lights and lanterns. Don’t forget to use your pool as part of your festive decorations. Float lanterns or lotus flowers in the pool at night for a truly magical sight. LED balls that change colour are also readily available from party stores.

Get your garden party-ready Your outdoor area is ideal for entertaining during the summer months, so make the most of it by giving it a pre-Christmas makeover. Here’s our top inexpensive backyard rejuvenation ideas.

How does your garden grow? Kids love getting their hands dirty in the garden, plus they love to watch their plants grow and seeds turn into fruits, flowers and vegetables. (And shh, don’t tell them, but children who have grown their own vegetables are more likely to eat them at dinner time.) Here’s how to nourish and encourage their green thumb:

Earthly delights. All gardens look great with pops of colour and interesting craft items placed here and there. Why not begin a garden craft project that your kids can get involved in? Painting and decorating plain terracotta pots, rocks and old bowls is great fun for kids. Once their artwork is complete they can then plant some seeds and watch them grow.

Make a compost or worm farm You can make a simple DIY compost pile or bay using old timber pallets nailed together, or a round compost using a plastic garbage bin with a lid and a hole cut in the bottom. Get your kids to take the kitchen food scraps to the compost regularly - they’ll love the responsibility. Show them how to turn the compost to encourage decomposition and get them to help you spread the compost over their vegetable or herb garden.

Use solar lighting to illuminate trees, garden beds and water features, Wrap a tree with string lights or drape them along the centre of a table to create an illuminating centrepiece. Add bright, waterproof cushions to your garden furniture to make the garden welcoming and appealing. Give some of your old furniture a facelift by sanding and re-spraying it with bright colours.

Add a simple trellis to your garden to create a focal point, draw attention to a certain feature, or to mark the entrance to a sitting area. Plant a flowering vine at its base and encourage it to climb the rungs. If you have a timber structure in your garden such as a fence, shed or slats, add a splash of colour to the garden by painting these structures in bright colours which complement your furniture and cushion tones. Swap plant cuttings with your neighbours and friends. This is a super cost-effective way to get the plants that you want for your garden without spending a cent. Plants that strike well from cuttings include succulents, azaleas, camellias, roses, geraniums, hibiscus, lavender and rosemary.

Get Grilling Is it really summer unless you have your BBQ lit? There’s nothing like a barbecue lunch of seafood, snags and salad for the whole family to enjoy. Before you fire up your barbie take a little time to check it’s ready to grill with some simple safety checks. Now, where did you put that novelty apron?


Cleaning your BBQ after every use will save you time in the long run and keep it running smoothly for years. It is much easier to clean a BBQ while it is still warm and will keep your grill looking smokin’ hot: • Turn off the gas at the bottle first and then turn off the burner knobs and disconnect the gas bottle. • Check your drip tray – if you use a fat absorber, it should be changed every 10 barbecues. • Scrape down the BBQ with a non-scratch scrubber and give the inside of the BBQ a clean with a warm, soapy cloth. • Give your hotplates a soak in warm, soapy water regularly, rinse and dry off and wipe with oil to keep them from going rusty.

BBQ FACTS • All BBQs sold in Australia should have a data plate and label with a certification number and the connecting hose should also have certification details. • LPG cylinders should be tested every ten years, with the most recent date of testing stamped on the cylinder’s neck, collar or foot ring. • Store your LPG cylinders upright, in the shade and on a level surface. Keep them away from aerosols, petrol or flammable liquids. When barbecuing, position your BBQ on a flat, even surface away from any flammable materials. • Regularly check your gas hoses for cracking, stretching or other wear. Check your hoses for gas leaks by spraying a weak solution of soapy water on the hose or connection and if bubbles appear, you have a leak. A qualified gasfitter can check your hoses if you’re unsure. • Be aware of any fire restrictions in your area, particularly during bushfire season as you may not be permitted to use your BBQ at certain times during the year. • Have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket handy in case the BBQ flames get out of control. You should have a garden hose in reach in case your house, grass or plants catch on fire but don’t try to put out the source of the fire (at the BBQ) using water as this can make it spread more quickly. • Keep children away from the BBQ and have a designated adult to supervise kids while you’re barbecuing. Matches and fire lighters should be kept safely stored.

What’s on the menu? BBQ Chicken Marinade 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons sesame oil ½ cup balsamic vinegar ½ cup soy sauce ¼ cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic, chopped ¼ cup brown sugar Black pepper Combine all ingredients and leave chicken to marinate for 2-4 hours. This Asian-inspired marinade will have your guests coming back for seconds, or even thirds! BBQ Beef Marinade 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped Salt and pepper Combine all ingredients and leave beef to marinate for 2-4 hours. This recipe is ideal for cheaper cuts of beef, tenderising the meat and adding a burst of flavour. Best Ever Salad Recipe (serves 10) 250g mixed salad leaves 250g cherry tomatoes, halved 200g small red radishes, sliced 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced Dressing 60ml olive oil 30ml white wine vinegar 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tablespoon chives ½ tablespoon wholegrain mustard Salt and pepper Combine salad dressing ingredients and pour over salad. This salad recipe is super easy and super tasty and you can double the quantities for larger crowds. BBQ Flatbreads 3 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon yeast 2 teaspoons salt These yummy flatbreads go well with any kind of meat and are a big hit with the kids! • Combine salt, sugar, yeast and 1 cup of warm water in a bowl. Leave mixture for 10 minutes then add the flour and combine well. Cover the dough, place in a warm spot for an hour to rise. • Knead the dough on a floured surface until soft. • Cut the dough into 8 portions and roll out to about 15cm in diameter. Brush one side of the breads with olive oil. • Heat BBQ to medium-high and place breads on the BBQ oiled side down. Brush the other side with olive oil and when the first side browns and swells up, turn over and cook the other side.

Crafty Kids Looking for some cool craft ideas to keep the kids busy during the school holidays? Here are our Top 3 kid-friendly craft ideas.


Cardboard creations Start saving small cardboard boxes, paper towel rolls and loo rolls and ask your extended family to do the same. By the time the holidays roll around, you will have all the ingredients for an amazing castle or custom-made Christmas Crackers. Kids can colour the cardboard pieces, stick some plastic jewels or decorations onto it and then simply stack and glue the cardboard boxes to form the castle’s foundation. Let them use their imagination – they may create a castle, fort or even a racing car. If making cutom Christmas crackers you can source the bang pulls through Ebay or Etsy and glue them inside.


Egg carton Christmas wreath Kids will need cardboard egg cartons, craft paints and brushes, a large piece of cardboard for the backing, glue and scissors. Step 1. Cut the egg cartons into separate cups and then cut the edge of the cups into flower edge shapes. Step 2. Paint the cups in various colours. Step 3. Using the large piece of cardboard, cut out a large circle (around 15cm in diameter), with a large hole in the middle, so that it resembles a large doughnut. Step 4. Paint this circle green. Step 5. Carefully cut out leaf shapes from the egg carton tops and paint these green. When dry, glue to the circle. Step 6. Glue the flowers to the wreath. Once the wreath is dry, your kids can attach it proudly to your front door to wish your visitors a very Merry Christmas season.


Recycled paper cards This is a fun project for parents and kids to do together. You will need scrap paper, newspaper, a bowl, a blender, water, towels and a rectangular mesh/net made of steel/iron/nylon/acrylic – stretched and nailed over a wooden frame and something to dry the paper on. Step 1. Rip the scrap paper and newspaper into small pieces. Add water to soften the paper. Step 2. Put the pulp on the plastic screen and press the paper out flat, as you press the water out of it. Step 3. Allow to dry for a couple of days and then cut out and decorate Christmas cards or Christmas gift tags or just about anything you like!