Kids Can Drown in Your Pool.
How Safe Is Your Pool?
It is SPRING, so soon everyone in Perth will start getting their pools ready for another summer. But just because your pool is not being used, is out of order, too cold to use and full of green water, doesn’t mean a child can’t drown in it! You should at all times have a CPR Charts on display. Ensure a current CPR chart is installed and clearly visible in the pool area. You can purchase these in waterproof PVC on ebay for $20, or you can request a free one from the Australian Resuscitation Council.
Drowning is the most common cause of preventable death for children under the age of five – and most drownings occur where there is no barrier between the house and the pool area.
Western Australia still has many pools that have no barrier between the house and the pool area because of inadequate government legislation.
The problem exists with many pools built prior to 5th November 2001 where a concession exists for these pools to only need an approved door leading out into the pool area. These approved doors are often sliding doors with a weight attached that automatically closes the door. Most of these weights are disconnected, parents get annoyed from always needing to open the sliding doors when carrying things in and out of the house and from the constant slamming sounds from children going in and out.
WA is way behind the issue of swimming pool safety when compared to other states.
In Queensland for example it has become mandatory that all homes with pools retrospectively at the time of settlement need to comply with the new Queensland Development Code (QDC) Mandatory Part 3.4 which requires there to be a barrier installed between the pool and the house.
The WA State and local governments need to look at this issue and implement stronger legislation requiring these older pools to be brought up to current standards.
Perth Property Inspections has the following advice to help minimise a drowning incident at your home:
- Supervise children: The most common factor in child drowning incidents is a lack of adult supervision.
Gates and doors: Check that gates and doors self close and self latch at any distance and that the latch is at least 1500mm high.
- Barrier fencing: All the safety barriers around the pool should be a minimum of 1200mm high and not have gaps of more than 100mm.
- Climbable Objects: This can get complicated but in short make sure there are no climbable objects within a 1200mm arc from the top of the fence on the outside of the fence.
- CPR Chart: Ensure a current CPR chart is installed and visible in the pool area.
For every drowning death it is estimated that 10 children are admitted to hospital following a near drowning incident, many of these children end up with brain injuries. We as parents, grandparents and carers of children have to protect our children as they rely on us for protection.Children under the age of 5 years don’t fully understand the concept of danger and we as parents and ‘protectors’ need to step up and call on the government to make changes to pool safety laws.”
Nearly 95 per cent of children under five who have drowned, did so at locations around the home, according to the Building Commission of Western Australia. It’s imperative that proper care is taken around the home to avoid these tragedies.
Contact the Royal Life Saving Australia for more information or to request a ‘Home Pool Safety Checklist’.