Make pool gate alarms mandatory for backyard pools.

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Accidental drowning is a leading cause of death for children aged 0 to 4 years. In WA, and nationally, propped open gates and faulty latches are the major causal factor of these drownings, yet, the requirements in WA are for a self closing gate and fencing at least 1.2m high ( further requirements around fencing see : Rules for Pools and Spas)  if we know the cause of accidental drownings for young children in private pools are faulty and open gates, why aren't the laws reflecting this?

There are pool gate alarms that sound each time a child enters the pool area and alarms after 15 seconds (example product : MagnaLatch Alarm, available at Bunnings for $140 to $150).

POOL GATE ALARMS NEED TO BE MANDATORY ON ALL SELF CLOSING POOL GATES.

We are calling for the council to move this motion forward to review the legislation around pool safety.

This issue is necessary to protect our children..

Little Jake was only 3 years old when he was able to access the backyard pool when the gate became stuck on a child's toy after the older children had swam. It was less than a minute between the mother, Kylie, being told the gate hadn't closed properly, until the time she found Jake in the water, unresponsive. He later passed away.

It takes 20 seconds for a toddler to be in serious trouble in the water. Had Kylie’s rental property been fitted with a gate alarm, it would have sounded within 15 seconds of it becoming stuck and alerted her to the immediate danger.

We are asking for community support on this issue.


References:


Government of Western Australia : Department for Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety


J Gaida, Fellon & Gaida, James. (2016). Infant and toddler drowning in Australia: Patterns, risk factors and prevention recommendations: Infant and toddler drowning. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 52. 10.1111/jpc.13325.

Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2018, Royal Lifesaving Australia.


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