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Royal Life Urges Backyard Pool Safety

Royal Life Urges Backyard Pool Safety
August 28, 2009

As summer approaches, the Royal Life Saving Society Australia and PoolWerx are asking everyone with a backyard pool to get in and check their fence and the surrounding environment to make sure it is safe for children.

Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) is also asking the aquatic and leisure industry to get behind this initiative by letting their clients and patrons know about the free home pool safety checklist which is available at the home pool safety website. The checklist guides pool owners on the key risk areas that children could use to access the backyard pool so that families can do a quick self check.

As parents and carers know, it is difficult to watch small children at every moment, so home pool fences are a vital back-up to make sure children donât enter water unsupervised.

Some of the things to check for are basic maintenance issues that arise over time or as a result of high winds such as gaps in the fence, missing panels or where land has subsided underneath. Rusting locks or gates that no long self close and latch are another key risk factor.

Less obvious issues that the checklist identifies include moving pot plants or furniture that children can use to climb over fences well away from the pool area and ensuring that even during social gatherings by the pool that the gate remains closed.

On average 35 Australian children under the age of five drown each year. Half of those children will drown in a backyard pool, and that is where you can take action to save a life.

As RLSSA Chief Executive Rob Bradley explains "an increasing number of children are drowning by getting through, under or over existing pool gates and fencing that their parents believed was secure.

"We are asking the aquatic and leisure industry to help us let every pool owner know that this checklist is available free of charge and encouraging them to get out into their backyard early this spring and make sure it is safe and secure.

"Pool Fencing legislation has now been in place for 10 to 15 years and many fences and gates have badly deteriorated (and) recent local government surveys have shown that up to 85% of home pools do not comply with the safety standards - that's a frightening statistic.

"By using our practical, easy to read checklist home pool owners will be able to check, fix and maintain their home pool environment."

Bradley urges pool owners to "make this coming weekend your Home Pool Safety Weekend."

For more information go to www.homepoolsafety.com.au


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