Drowning spike inspires calls for water safety
Published Monday, July 9, 2012 6:44PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 9, 2012 7:10PM EDT
MONTREAL - Good fences make for good neighbours but they also make for safe pools as well, and some are now calling for beefed up rules forcing all in-ground pool owners to install barriers to prevent accidents.
The calls come in the wake of the drowning of two young children in recent days, during a summer which has seen a spike in drownings across the board.
There have already been a dozen more drownings in Quebec than all of last summer.
The Residential Pool Safety Act, passed in 2010, orders in-ground pools built after that date to be equipped with a fence.
But some believe that those rules should also apply to all other pools.
“I feel that should have been extended to all pools because what's the difference with an old pool and a new pool you can drown in either one,” said Debbie Friedman, Trauma Director at the Montreal Children's Hospital.
Others, however, stress that giving children a solid background in swimming would be a step in the right direction.
“You can't put a fence around every lake, every stretch of water so it still gets back to the parents of watching your kids,” said Regent Lacoursiere, who taught swimming for six decades.
He says every child should learn to swim even if they don't have a backyard pool.
The majority of the drowings this summer have taken place in lakes and rivers this year's pool drownings all claimed victims of under five years of age.
Steve Karagioules has a company called Safety Guard to help others install fences around their pools. He says the most important safety tip is to always watch your children when their near water.
“There are rules you have with your kids that get bent, but around the pool the rules don't get bent,” said Karagioules.