When you think of summer, images of lazing by the backyard pool on hot and humid evenings with the smell of steaks sizzling on the barbie comes to mind. As much as summer calls for plenty of sun, fun and socialising around the pool, there is one issue that cannot go ignored.
Child drownings in backyard swimming pools. Not to be a downer, but pool safety and baby proofing your pool is everybody’s business. Before even thinking about who you’re inviting over for a sausage sanga and a swim, put pool security at the top of your priority list. You never know, it could just save a life.
A sobering truth concerning pool drownings
Every year, we see story after story make new headlines about a young child who has drowned in a pool. In a recent article, a mother of twins in Newcastle recounts an incident in 2007, whereby her two-year-old boys had a near miss and required resuscitation due to lack of pool security. The boys had managed to sneak into the pool area because of a faulty gate latch. “There had been no gate noise, no splashing, no screaming, just silence,” Belinda Hedley says. Luckily, the boys survived, but sadly, not every parent can say the same thing.
In 2016, a three-year-old boy died and a two-year-old boy was critically injured after separate incidents in backyard pools in Sydney’s south-west. In the same precinct in 2017, a six-year-old boy lost his life. In June 2018, it was reported that the 19-month-old daughter of Winter Olympian Bode Miller drowned in a swimming pool in the United States.
The World Health Organization states that In Australia, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in children aged 1–3 years. It has been reported that 15 children under five drown every year due to lack of supervision, improper barriers in place or lack of swimming experience. Further, it is believed about a third of houses with backyard pools fail to comply with the pool safety regulations.
The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2017 reveals that drowning in children under five has increased. According to the report, 29 children aged 0-4 years drowned in 2016/17, a 32% increase from the previous year.
“Kids and families love pools, but they can pose a significant drowning risk to toddlers,” says Justin Scarr, Royal Life Saving CEO.
Ensuring adequate pool safety saves lives
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning rates are highest among young children with most drownings occurring in home swimming pools. This calls for adequate measures to ensure that our precious children are not able to access the pool area unsupervised.
“We know the current dangers of pool ownership and the associated statistics,” says Richard Berry, Managing Director of AquaSafe Pool Nets. “Residents believe that a pool fence is enough to prevent drownings, however, a multi-layered approach is best to eliminate any possibility of injury or death.”
As highlighted in Belinda’s story earlier, her twin boys accessed the pool due to a faulty pool fence lock. Therefore, while fencing and regular pool fence inspections is an absolute must, further measures must be in place to add another ‘layer’ of safety.
Not for a minute, should you think that a drowning of a loved one, let alone your child could not happen to you. Pool drownings do not discriminate and anyone can fall victim. However, the good news is there are preventative approaches, which gives you the upper hand when it comes to protecting your child.
AquaSafe Pool Nets aim to play a major role in drowning prevention in Australian swimming pools. “My vision is to help reduce the number of backyard swimming pool drownings in Australia from 15 per year to 0, for children aged 0-5,” states Richard.
“My vision is to help reduce the number of backyard swimming pool drownings in Australia from 15 per year to 0, for children aged 0-5”
“In aiming to reduce the number of pool drownings, we have developed best practices in pool safety and pool security. This includes educating parents on any potential hazards, encouraging swimming lessons as early as possible and providing resources.”
“We are committed to educating families and primarily mothers on the need to install pool netting while their children are growing up through those initial vulnerable years. A pool safety net is a cost-effective way to help protect their little ones from potential drownings and potentially save lives.”
If you think that having a pool fence will be enough to prevent drownings, think again. Statistics state that children are still drowning with fences present.
“A fence is only half the solution. Having a pool safety net will give you the best chance to secure your pool and is the ultimate second ‘layer’ for optimum pool safety.” concludes Richard.
Get a pool safety net ahead of summer
The first step to keep your little ones safe as well as small children of pool party guests is to make a small investment in pool safety covers. I urge, that you cannot put a price on a life. I am not fear-mongering, but the statistics only present facts. What we do with these facts is assess the risks and take necessary action.
To learn more about pool security, all you need to do is reach out to Richard, who is on a mission to reduce the number of swimming pool drownings in children aged 0-5 from 15 to zero. ZERO! Together, with adequate pool safety such as the multi-layered approach (pool fence and pool safety net), ongoing education and teaching your kids how to swim from an early age we can stamp out pool-related deaths!
To make an enquiry or get a free quote, contact the friendly staff at AquaSafe Pool Nets.