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Closing the gate on backyard pool drowning

Monday, 30 September 2013

Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan MP, has called on the central Victorian community to join Kidsafe Victoria in their campaign to make all backyard pools safe before the pool season starts.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under 5 years of age. In the 12 month period from 2011- 2012, 21 children aged between 0-4 years drowned in Australia. Swimming pools were the most common location for drowning amongst this age group, accounting for 38% of drowning incidents.

"Children drown quickly and quietly. Kidsafe urge all parents with pools or visiting homes with pools or spas to make sure they maintain constant supervision of their children around water," Ms Allan said.

"All pool and spa fencing will experience exposure to extremes of weather and wear and tear over time including rust, missing bolts or screws and damage. Therefore, it is important that it is regularly checked and maintained. "

The 'Closing the Gate on Backyard Pool Drowning' campaign calls for all pool and spa owners to visit the Kidsafe website at www.kidsafevic.com.au from September 30th and utilise the pool and spa area checking tool, developed by Life Saving Victoria, to check the safety of their pool/spa area. This includes checking for common faults/non-compliance issues such as:

• Gates that don't self-latch or self-close.

• Climbable objects in the 'non climbable' zone outlined in the Australian Standards (e.g. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool fencing which could allow a child to climb over the fence).

• Excess space under the fence, and;

• Misuse (e.g. propping the pool gate open).

"Pools and spas are great fun and good exercise for children" said Ms Allan "but it is vital that safety and vigilance are paramount".

 

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