Sunday, December 18, 2011

Don't let pool tragedy leave you with life of blame

Image courtesy of fellow bloggers producing the Best Nanny Newsletter in the US. A visit there will show that pool safety is a concern in other countries, too.

THE summer sizzle – or call it a "stew" because of the recent rain – has brought a timely warning from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS).
The message is to take extra care in and around pools over the Christmas and summer holiday period.
We have heard it all before, so many times in fact, that some owners may simply shrug and not give another thought to the importance of the message.
But such an attitude of indifference has been a factor in an horrific statistic that can make any Queenslander cringe.

THE State Government says 41 children aged under five years drowned in Queensland pools between January 2004 and June 2010.
Every case would have its peculiarities, and the last thing any parent who has lost a child in this way would deserve is to suffer forever in self blame.
However, something has been going seriously wrong and the State Government has finally acted with the introduction of new pool fencing laws.
It has given pool owners until 2015 to comply with a new pool safety standard, but earlier compliance is required if the property is sold or leased.
Pool owners have just passed the first deadline of the safety package; the Government required registration of swimming pool details by November 4, and has threatened fines up to $2000 for an unregistered pool.

LICENSED pool fencing inspector Noel Whittington, who advertises in our Trade Services section, has been busy.
Noel, a former Sydney pool builder who has specialised in fencing for about 30 years, believes the tightening of the law is overdue.
"Some owners whinge about 'another government thing' but I can only say, 'Come on, the fact is kids are drowning – this law is aimed at saving lives'," Noel says.
"The other tragedy is that many children whose lives are saved carry lifelong
disabilities from the experience."
Noel, admitting he is not a youngster, says he pushed himself to attend a series of seminars and get accreditation as an inspector.
He says maintenance-conscious owners benefit because regular attention minimises costs, which is important with inspections now required every two years.

NOEL came to live in Queensland in 1981 and now splits his time between his Gold Coast home and that of his sister, Gloria O'Brien, at Redland Bay, so he says he is well placed to service Redland City.
The QAS emphasises that fencing is not the complete solution to stop drownings and vigilance is important: Drowning is "a silent killer" – someone can drown in seconds, without making a sound.
The service urges pool owners to remove objects from around the pool fence to reduce the risk of children climbing to access the pool area or gate.

Thanks for joining me to meet the people in the marvellous community of classified
advertising; this column has appeared in The Redland Times.

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