Call for backyard swimming pool ban to save our kids
A CALL to ban backyard pools in Australia has caused outrage on social media.
Jo Abi, a regular writer for ivillage.com.au, said that if swimming pools were banned children's lives wouldn't be put "at risk".
"The reason I started thinking about the banning of backyard pools was because February is the month in which most children drown and we are coming up to that," Mrs Abi said.
"At iVillage Australia we had so many stories come across our desk involving safety measures around swimming pools that have failed and it seemed that the current safety measures aren't working. I think it is time to step back really and have a look at the bigger picture and consider perhaps it's time we do discuss the banning of backyard swimming pools."
But people commenting on Facebook disagreed with Mrs Abi, saying that everyone should have the right to enjoy a backyard swimming pool.
"Looks like Australia is fast becoming the unlucky country," Sharon Anderson said.
"People have a right to enjoy their life and if having a pool is one of them, then so be it. We have owned property with pools, but ours was always fenced properly, even before the laws were in place."
Sharyn Banaghan agreed, saying that she never had a problem with her backyard pool.
"We had an above ground large pool when our kids were little. We never had problems and I kept an eye on them all the time and also being strict," she said.
"They learnt to swim in our pool and didn't have to pay anyone then when we moved we had a huge running creek behind us and the kids swam in it all the time. I think people are too lax, that's the problem and hopefully society will fix it."
Mrs Abi stressed that drowning was the leading cause of death in children under five in Australia, outside of motor vehicle accidents.
"To me it seems like an easy one to prevent if we just didn't have backyard pools in Australian homes," she said.
"I know it is very controversial because backyard pools are such Australian icons but it is two children a week that are drowning and one of those at least each week is in a backyard pool, which is why I wanted to really start this conversation.
"The reaction on Facebook has been mostly that a ban is a step too far a lot of people believe that something more needs to be done about backyard swimming pool safety.
"I think all the pool safety measures we have at the moment have their place and do their job as much as they can but I think the nature of pool safety is that these safety measures do fail.
"Everyone keeps saying 'as long as you teach your children to swim it will be okay' but a one-year-old is not going to be able to swim to a point where they can rescue themselves after falling into a pool especially if adults don't realise they are even in there."
On the Daily Mercury's Facebook page Gabrielle Wallace said she could understand Mrs Abi's idea but said it wouldn't be "practical" to ban pools.
"We have a pool and a council approved pool fence but the idea of someone else's child finding its way into our pool scares the life out of me," she said.
"I don't really think it would be practical to ban pools, then you would have to ban wading pools, ponds, buckets of water... A child can drown in less than an inch of water."
Other people commented on Facebook making fun of Mrs Abi's idea.
"How about we stop taking them in the car so they don't die in a car crash and we'd better stop feeding them, just in case they choke. Forehead slap. Derp," Heather Lampe said.
"Let's just fence the whole ocean," Karina Rohdmann commented.
"Next we will be banning sprinklers because of puddles," Beau Rodney Renouf said.
Should backyard swimming pools be banned?
This poll ended on 24 January 2014.
Yes, best idea ever
That is a bit far-fetched. Maybe greater safety measures
No, and it will never happen
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.