Stats re­it­er­ate pool mes­sage

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph | News - Ce­cilia Allen

As the weather warms up, par­ents, care­givers and other adults are be­ing re­minded to keep a close eye on chil­dren around pools and spas, in­clud­ing in­flat­able and tem­po­rary pools.

Ac­cord­ing to the Royal Life Sav­ing Re­port into Home Swim­ming Pools, be­tween 2011 and 2016, 19 chil­dren aged 0-4 years drowned in WA, 13 of which oc­curred in home swim­ming pools.

The re­search in­di­cated 11 of these drown­ings oc­curred in the Perth metropoli­tan area, with the mean age be­ing 21 months.

In each in­stance, a lack of adult su­per­vi­sion was a con­tribut­ing fac­tor and all pools had ei­ther a pool safety bar­rier fault al­low­ing ac­cess or were un­se­cured at the time of the in­ci­dent.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment agen­cies are urg­ing peo­ple to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with their obli­ga­tions to en­sure the re­quired safety bar­rier is in place around their pool and/ or spa and that gates are func­tion­ing prop­erly and are not left propped open.

City of Rock­ing­ham Mayor Barry Sam­mels said all home pools and spas re­quired a com­pli­ant bar­rier.

“But please re­mem­ber the most im­por­tant tool in keep­ing kids safe is su­per­vi­sion,” he said.

“Chil­dren up to five years old are the most at risk of drown­ing, so keep your eyes on those lit­tlies at all times when they are any­where near the pool, on ei­ther side of the fence.” City of Kwinana mayor Carol Adams said even in­flat­able pools and tod­dler wad­ing pools were re­quired to have a safety bar­rier in­stalled or pro­vided around them.

“The bar­rier should in­clude a gate that is self-clos­ing and self- latch­ing to pre­vent ac­cess by young chil­dren,” she said.

The City of Man­durah un­der­takes in­spec­tions of swim­ming pool and spa safety bar­ri­ers ev­ery four years but re­minded own­ers or oc­cu­piers to keep pool gates closed and op­er­at­ing cor­rectly.

Ac­cord­ing to the City of Man­durah, lo­cal gov­ern­ments are au­tho­rised to is­sue on-the-spot fines of $750 for pools that have no, or a non-com­pli­ant, swim­ming pool safety bar­rier. In ad­di­tion, prose­cu­tion and a penalty of up to $5000 may be ap­plied.

Pic­ture: Ce­cilia Allen

Franch­escha Bar­rameda, 10, Mes­saline Mpunga, 6, and Taiga Mori, 10, learn about swim­ming, wa­ter safety and sur­vival skills as part of swim­ming lessons at Kwinana Rec­quatic Cen­tre.

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