Often I get clients who are frustrated by the strict and complex pool fencing rules. The rules cover barriers with non climbable zones, gates that must close from any position without assistance and shrubs that are not climbable. It often happens that a particular pool will fail to meet its requirements on two or three separate occasions.
Why are these regulations so tough?
The short answer of course is that we are protecting children, particularly very young children, six and under. The longer answer has a number of factors;
Pools attract children
Unlike other dangers in the home such as stairs and fire places, children are attracted to swimming pools. Active, intensely curious children are fascinated by bodies of water.
Pools can be deadly
In a recent period in Australia 14 children drowned in a little over a year. Grotesquely these are possibly all preventable deaths. Accidental drowning is the major cause of death in very small children.
Near drownings are also a traumatic outcome
Whilst fatal drownings are devastating, the impact on young lives from near drowning and the associated brain damage from a lack of oxygen are equally traumatic. There are three near drownings for each fatality.
Barriers are the best defence
A reliance on older children, and adults who mistakenly think another adult is in control are very poor substitutes for a well constructed and properly maintained pool barrier.