Swimming Pools - Child Safety

by Pool Builders on 04-04-2010 in Articles

This is a topic very close to my heart, as I nearly lost my youngest son to drowning in a bath tub.

It happened like this. My daughter at the time was 5 and had a friend over with her older sister at our house. The girls were getting ready for a school disco, my daughter and her friend had a bath and the older sister had just taken her turn.

Unfortunately she had not pulled the plug out of the bath, at the time I was in the kitchen talking to my husband and noticed my daughter in her bedroom with the other girls. A quick head count and call it a mothers instinct but I headed straight to the bathroom and my son was rolling around. As you can imagine my heart stopped but he was ok.

After I had calmed down I had to explain the importance to the girls to always pull the plug out of the bath. You would have thought a 1 year would not remember, but they do somehow. It took years for my son to put his head under the shower to wash his hair. Countless years of swimming lessons before he gained confidence in water. He is now 8 and I am blessed not to have lost him.

Everyone regardless has a responsibility to ensure all children are safe around water. In New Zealand if you have a Swimming Pool you are governed by the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and this Act requires:

Where there is a private swimming pool or spa pool it must be fenced unless:

* It's a maximum depth is 400mm or less; or

* Its walls are 1.2 metres or more above the ground or the pool's surround. (There must be no permanent means of access or temporary steps must be removed after use) or;

* It is indoors.

* You must notify your Council if you have a pool or spa or intend to build or install one.

* A building consent is required prior to construction/installing a pool or alteration of fencing around a pool.

* All pools must be fenced to the standard set out in the Act. If a pool is not fenced to such standard in the Act it must be kept empty.

* Anyone renting or leasing a house with a pool must ensure the pool is kept empty if it does not comply with the Act.

* The fence must surround the pool and any area around the pool including any area used in association with the pool.

* The standard of fencing required is available in the Swimming Pools Act 1987.

Again if you are unsure check with your local council.

There is no better safe guard then to constantly supervise children around water, and ensure every child can swim. Lets do it for the kids.

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