Pool safety statement from Safe Kids New Zealand

Drowning in swimming pools is a significant cause of preventable deaths and hospitalisations among children in New Zealand. 61% of those who drown in home swimming pools in New Zealand are under 5. Much evidence shows that completely enclosing a swimming pool with four sided fencing and isolating it from the home is the most effective way to prevent drowning. Safekids NZ has joined the Paediatric Society of New Zealand in recommending legislation requiring effective fencing of both newly constructed and existing swimming pools; that this legislation include monitoring (a pool safety ‘warrant of fitness’); along with education and enforcement provisions. Water safety education programmes should include the information that home swimming pools need an effective barrier (i.e., be compliant with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act) at all times and that young children must always be closely supervised by an adult when they are near any body of water.

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