Require pool safety compliance upon purchasing a home to prevent traumatic child drownings

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In the wake of losing my son Sylas Alexander Gatlyn to a traumatic drowning event, I am writing today for support to require all home purchases and rentals with a swimming pool to adhere to a pool safety compliance before a new owner is able to move in. An accident can happen the first day.

There are over 10.6 million swimming pools in the U.S. Pool safety is only enforced when building a pool for the first time, however, there were 5.34 million homes sold in the United States in 2019. When closing on your home, we are required to complete a home inspection that checks our roof, electrical, termites/pests etc. We are required to complete a wind mitigation. But where are the inspections and requirements around pool safety when the drowning death rate among children ages 1-4 is the highest in the nation. I’m not even sure that the statistics add up to the reality. During our hospital stay, the nurses mentioned they see patients coming in with drowning related accidents all the time.

Fences, pool alarms, pool covers are never enforced after a swimming pool is built, leaving so much room for young children to end their life in a body of water. For those that don’t end with death, “survivors” are left in semi or permanent vegetative state with no ability to breathe, eat, move on their own.

If I had to comply with pool safety when purchasing my first home, my son Sylas would still be alive. The same way we can’t leave the hospital without the car seat. I had contacted a pool fence company exactly a week before the accident but they weren't able to come when I inquired due to the pandemic.

An accident can happen the first day you move in to a home. This should not be optional considering how little awareness there is. I want to prevent as many future drownings from happening. No family should have to experience this pain and loss. Let’s end the statistic that continues to be the LEADING cause of death in children ages 1-4. No one should be able to move into a property before complying with pool safety laws and having the proper barriers in place(pool fences, pool alarms, doors alarms).

Your support on this mission to pass the SYLAS ALEXANDER GATLYN ACT is greatly appreciated. 

Thank you,

Andrea Montoya