Canning Times - - OPINION -

LAST sum­mer saw a tragic num­ber of lives lost to drown­ing, with rates more than four times the 10- year av­er­age be­tween Christ­mas and New Year.

Sadly, chil­dren ac­counted for a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of these pre­ventable tragedies.

Check your back­yard pool fence, gate and latch.

In­ad­e­quate or faulty pool fenc­ing and pool gates re­main a ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the rate of drown­ing in back­yard swim­ming pools among chil­dren un­der five years of age.

Royal Life Saving has de­vel­oped a home pool safety check­list.

This check­list en­ables you to con­duct a self-assess­ment of your home pool and its sur­rounds to en­sure it is safe for every­one to en­joy and min­imises the risk of young chil­dren drown­ing.

Of­ten pool own­ers don't re­alise that their pool fence or gate is faulty, which poses a threat to chil­dren's safety.

Pool fences, pool gates and latches should be reg­u­larly checked and main­tained as parts can break or be­come de­fec­tive over time.

Visit www.roy­al­life­sav­ and down­load the home pool safety check­list to make sure your pool fence, pool gate and latch is in work­ing or­der.

The check­list does not sub­sti­tute for a pool in­spec­tion. We urge you to get pro­fes­sional ad­vice about your pool's com­pli­ance, check reg­u­la­tions with your lo­cal council or go to the lo­cal hard­ware or pool shop to dis­cuss how to en­sure the pool is made safer in time for sum­mer.

Ad­e­quate pool fenc­ing is not a sub­sti­tute for ac­tive su­per­vi­sion. Al­ways keep watch of chil­dren around wa­ter.

We don't want to see the same dev­as­tat­ing im­pact this sum­mer, so please make this week­end your home pool safety week­end.

JUSTIN SCARR, Royal Life Saving So­ci­ety

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