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PPG_Blog_Jan_image 8_swimming pool safety

If you read the story of Nicole Wunhym and her precious son Liam in the newspapers recently, you would have sadly reacquainted yourself with the serious hazards associated with young children and water. Four year old Liam drowned on December 10 last year in the swimming pool of the property Nicole and her family were renting. Nicole struggles to explain the constant grief and guilt she feels from losing her son in such a preventable yet tragic set on circumstances.

Liam was amongst 150 children under the age of five who drowned in Australia over the last five years. Not all drownings were in swimming pools, some were in household bathrooms and some were in the sea. Liam’s death, however, was a classic case of a broken pool gate and a playful young boy. Not one to usually venture into the pool without his mother, Liam’s inquisitive nature is likely to have gotten the better of him. When Nicole turned her back for a few minutes Liam was gone. This heartbreaking loss highlights the importance of adult supervision. Never take your eyes of children around water is the message we need to heed even if you think your children aren’t adventurous.

The other vital message to take from this story is the importance of having pool fencing in proper working order. If you are a landlord or property owner it is your responsibility to have the fence and gate working properly. Pools and spas deeper than 30cm must be fenced. For information regarding the current laws and recommendations call your local council or visit the Victorian Building Commission website.

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