December is National Check Your Pool Gate Month.
Former Australian Olympic Swimming Coach and child water safety advocate, Laurie Lawrence, is calling on pool owners to check the safety of their pool fences and gates, as faulty gates and fences remain a leading cause of drownings of toddlers in Australia.
Laurie, who also heads the KidsAlive™ drowning prevention program, said that 12 Australian toddlers (aged between 0 and 4) lost their lives because of swimming pool drownings in 2018/19*. He says such drownings are ultimately preventable.
“Statistically, gates tend to be the main issue when it comes to toddlers accessing pools. December is the month that we’ve earmarked to get everyone focused on checking their pool gate and making sure it’s working properly. It only takes a minute and it could save the lives of the precious members of your family,” Laurie said.
December is a logical month to hold the campaign, as there is an increased risk for drownings during school holidays, and over 60 per cent of drowning deaths occurred in the warmer months of spring and summer in 2018/19*.
Worryingly, pool fencing that is “not compliant or is known to be faulty” contributed to 39.3 per cent of childhood drownings in NSW between 2002 and 2017**.
Exacerbating the problem is that 20 per cent of parents with children under 11-years-of-age have no idea what elements to check in their pool area to make sure it’s safe, according to a survey by Australian-made MagnaLatch®, the world’s most trusted pool safety gate latch.
Laurie Lawrence is calling on pool owners to check the safety of their pool gates on ‘National Check-Your-Pool-Gate Month’.
Pool owners are urged to download a safety checklist at www.checkyourpoolgate.com.au or attend an educational session at select Bunnings Hardware stores during National Check-Your-Pool-Gate Month this December, to understand how to check the safety of their pool surrounds and how to install the safest pool fence and gate equipment.
How to make sure your pool area is safe for toddlers aged 0-4:
Safety checklist for pool gates:
Pool Fencing Standards:
Pool fencing standards, codes and regulations vary from region to region. Before installing pool gates and fences, check with the local authorities in your area to ensure that you comply with local requirements.
The importance of the pool gate
The gate is the weakest link of the pool fence. Low quality or poorly maintained gates, latches and hinges can fail.
The MagnaLatch® has a magnetic mechanism that ensures self-latching every time, with no mechanical jamming.
“The MagnaLatch ALERT®, with dual, built-in electronic alarms, represents an enhanced level of safety and peace-of-mind for pool owners and carers. However, like all gate latches, is never a replacement for regular fence inspection and maintenance or parent or carer vigilance,” Laurie concluded.
TruClose® Hinges ensure your pool gate self-closes. They are quick and easy to install and won’t rust, bind, sag or stain.
Remember the “Kids Alive Do The Five” this December:
* Royal Life Saving Australia 2018/19 National Drowning Report.
**NSW Child Drowning Report 2002-2017, Royal Life Saving Australia - A 15-year analysis of causal factors for fatal drowning of children under 5 years in private swimming pools.
D&D Technologies (MagnaLatch®) commissioned Pure Profile to conduct a survey of 1,000 Australian pool owners in November 2019. The survey was weighted against ABS data for location, gender and age and carried out online.
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