Paddling pool nuttiness

November 28th, 2013 at 10:30 am by Jadis

The Herald reports that homeowners may be fined $500 for no fencing around paddling of a depth of 30cm or more.

As a parent I have a few questions about this interesting new development:

To meet the fencing requirements what is the cost to fence versus the cost of a paddling pool?  I bought a pool last week for $30.  It now requires a fence and a gate.  The fence will cost more than the pool.  Water is one of life’s cheapest toys.  We also run the risk of water shortages if people choose instead to empty the pool each time it is used – but I am guessing that unintended consequence was never assessed.

Why isn’t a full perimeter fence around a home enough?  Surely I get to decide which children get to come into my property.  They have parents too who can decide whether it is OK to come into my property.

What happened to personal and parental responsibility? I choose to supervise my children (and their friends) when they are in the pool.  Good parents and responsible adults do that – as do those who are responsible parents at the public swimming pool, the river or the beach.

Should we fence off the sea and our rivers and lakes too?

Of the six children who die each decade, how many die because of poor supervision? And how many die in paddling pools versus permanent pools, lakes, ponds, buckets etc?

Yes, it is important we keep our children safe but there needs to be a bit of reality in our policy making.  I don’t want children to die but I do believe we need balance in policy making.

There is another option – we could educate our own children on the dangers of water, teach them to swim and recognise that good parents generally supervise their children in all circumstances and assess the dangers of all situations?  What’s next?  All dishwashing powder must be in a special lock box because children can ingest and get very very ill?  I had better not give them too many ideas.

*Yep, another post by Jadis so don’t all freak out that DPF could be a parent.

 

 

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30 Responses to “Paddling pool nuttiness”

  1. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    How about we just acknowledge that this is a country with many water hazards, and spend some time and money on making all our children ‘drown proof’. If done from birth the process is easy, and works well.

    All five of my children were taught to roll on to their backs as soon as they hit water, as tiny babies. A natural water reflex at birth assists with the process.

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  2. nostrils (53 comments) says:

    Just fill the pool to 29cm ;)

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  3. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    “Of the six children who die each year”

    That’s incorrect. It’s six per ten years, less than one per year. “Mr Williamson said would save the lives of six children every decade.”

    Any child accidentally dying is a tragedy but if we start imposing substantial costs and limitations based on that number of deaths we might as well ban the outdoors. And bathrooms and kitchens.

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  4. Spam (588 comments) says:

    I don’t think this is new. We bought a paddling pool last week, and were told about this at the time, that it was already a requirement. At a separate shop, we saw signs on the paddling pools warning prospective buyers of this requirement.

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  5. wreck1080 (3,972 comments) says:

    This is what bureaucrats do. They certainly don’t think outside the square.

    It is like vehicle airbags – these save more lives than they kill (some do get killed by the airbags themselves).

    I reckon allowing people to have temporary pools saves more lives than they take.

    Banning temporary pools may result in increased drownings by kids who can’t swim and cause more obesity related deaths.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,972 comments) says:

    @spam — it sounds like this will be more strictly monitored — i think there is some ambiguity in current law becuase it was written before these cheap import pools became common.

    Once the law is clarified , you will see much more policing.

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  7. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Does anyone remember that a toddler drowned in the fountain at Moutoa Gardens in Wanganui during the Maori land protest there? :-(

    Because the parents were too busy chanting ‘Ona tha treaty! Ona tha treaty!’ to provide supervision?

    Compulsory fencing around all Maori land protests would save kids’ lives!

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  8. Tauhei Notts (1,749 comments) says:

    I will pay the Green Party subscription for anybody on here who fervently believes that 30 centimetre deep paddling pools are suitable in which to teach children to swim.
    Such a fervent belief would qualify that person for membership of that Party; they are obviously fucked in the head.

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  9. flipper (4,232 comments) says:

    As my name might suggest, I have some knowledge on the matter, and think the plan is garbage, and unbecoming of M. Williamson…. and have told him so this morning..

    But put that to one side, the original Terris legislation was rubbish…… and if this goes through it will be on a par with the worst excesses of Nanny State ala Clark et al.

    When every lake, farm pond, river , creek (we have one running through our property) and the sea are fenced, I am prepared to consider pools But only consider them It is fundamentally a matter of parental/care-giver responsibility.

    When I think of the thousands upon thousands of farm dams and ponds…… will they be next. I have heard that one Council tried it on under the RMA.

    In my own case, I have a spa with a lockable cover. The Council tried to get me to fence it. I told them, to get stuffed, and promised to see them in Court. They never came back.

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  10. In Vino Veritas (140 comments) says:

    Hmm. This sort of thing was one of the reasons Clark’s Labour Government got voted out. I have said this often and say it again. You cannot legislate away peoples stupidity! However much fencing is about, some parents will answer the phone, turn and talk to their friend, go and have a smoke, get more beers, whatever. And by then it’s all too late.
    Teach your kids to swim. If they fall of a bike they might get a broken arm. If they fall in water they die if they can’t swim. Simple.

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  11. Spam (588 comments) says:

    Apparently, if the edge of the pool is >90cm in height, then this counts as a fence / obstruction. So a spa doesn’t need fencing. We chose a pool that was only 20cm deep, but actually put a barrier fence in front of it ourselves (even though not required by law). Reason being is that our toddler loves pools / water. However, after a couple of days, the pool gets a layer of slime on the bottom that makes it damned slippery. She happily climbs in the water, and if she was unsupervised and slipped, then it could be all over.

    Our section is well fenced, with a locked gate out to a private right-of-way. We let our daughter go outside on her own, and like to leave doors open during the day to keep the house cool. To us, fencing the pool is a pragmatic move to protect our girl, but still provide her with a bit of independence.

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  12. Tauhei Notts (1,749 comments) says:

    Paddling pools. Piffle
    Although, when young children visit we place the dishwashing powder on the top shelf, alongside the Laphroaig.
    Laphroaig is bad for children. Dishwasher powder can easily be deadly.

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  13. Komata (1,204 comments) says:

    Jardis

    While agreeing completely with your sentiments, the problem is not YOU!! The problem is those parents who, for whatever reasons (and there are many) do not, or are unable-to, keep an eye on all of their offspring all the time. You may not remember, but the basis for the ‘pool enclosing’ legislation was that several very-small children (invariably toddlers, off to see the world) AFTER WANDERING OFF from their own properties, found A NEIGHBOUR’S pool and, as toddlers do, went to ‘investigate’ their discovery. Unfortunately the results were terminal!! This occurrence became ‘common-enough’ to eventually cause a ‘public outcry’ under the very emotive banner ‘Save our children from drowning’ and using catchy slogan’s such as ‘It’s cool to fence your pool’ etc. etc. As politicians are always inclined towards anything that will garner votes, it eventually became law.

    The ‘fencing’ largely stopped the ‘wandering’ drownings (although they still occur occasionally – and still cause the same reaction amongst some who believe the only safe swimming-pool is one that is fully-fenced and permanently-empty).

    It would seem these same individuals have now managed to get the legislation widened to include ALL AND ANY water container that a child could ‘swim’ in; ‘fixed’ pools, yesterday, ‘inflatable’ pools today, perhaps buckets tomorrow… Unfortunately, the latter is quite possible.

    As I said, it isn’t you.

    Hope this helps.

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  14. jakejakejake (140 comments) says:

    I think it would have made more sense to have some kind of requirement for barrier around driveway if small children are living in the house and parents have low IQ since we hear so often of the babbies being reversed over, not drowning in paddly pool.

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  15. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    What happened to personal and parental responsibility?

    The precautionary principle as summed up by Komata. Basically you have to minimise all potential harm regardless of the risks. Your rights get subsumed on the basis that some people are idiots. People want to live in a world where there are not such thing as accidents and nothing bad ever happens. We keep voting for more idiocy each time in the name of “being protected”. Its certainly the driving force behind the Greens who always advocate banning anything until proven safe, which is typically impossible.

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  16. sHr0oMaN (27 comments) says:

    We bought one of those paddling pools last weekend ($30 from the Warehouse). From memory I think the sides are 30cms and this is not filled to more than half-way with water.

    I will not be fencing this and empty it out after each use. My daughter (10 months) only uses it when I’m sitting in it with her. She has also been to “swimming” lessons.
    Dear goverment, GTFO of my life. k’thanks bye.

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  17. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    Apparently, if the edge of the pool is >90cm in height, then this counts as a fence / obstruction.

    Interesting, as a deck over 1m high needs fencing as is it is deemed to high too fall from. Is it ok to fall from a 1m pool edge but not a 1m fence or is there a magic gap between 90 & 100cm where children are both safe from drowning and safe from falling?

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  18. chris (647 comments) says:

    Should we fence off the sea and our rivers and lakes too?

    There was one (or two?) children who drowned by some river not so long ago, and the parents wanted the river fenced. Sigh. Never mind that they should have been watching their children…

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  19. Ashley Schaeffer (513 comments) says:

    It’s exactly this kind of shit that turned me against voting for Labour during the Klark years.
    The lack of logical thinking is astounding. There are so many hazards for young children in and around the home. As a parent you take steps to mitigate the risks and you watch your children. If you legislate for fencing around paddling pools, where exactly do you stop?

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  20. simpleton1 (240 comments) says:

    WARNING
    Sex may kill you, as pregnancy can be dangerous to one’s health and even cause death. Desist, as it may just save a woman’s life!.
    All men should be warned that they may cause death to women. So desist. They could be accomplice to a “criminal act” that caused a women’s death.

    During close intimate contact you may contact a disease. That may be debilitating to your health and self-esteem. It may even result in your death. Desist, as it may just save one life.

    I would suggest that those believing in “just to save one life” then practise the above.
    It would only take a generation to notice a marked change in our civilization.

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  21. Ashley Schaeffer (513 comments) says:

    My three kids live within a short walking distance of the beach. I think I might write to my local council and enquire as to when the fence will be erected as I’m led to believe it’s deeper than 30cm in places.

    FFS.

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  22. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Prior to permanent swimming pool fencing regulations being brought in stray and other kids were drowning at the same rate as quad bike riders are currently being killed. It was the same with wheel tractors until they had to be fitted with safety frames. Why is it that free market/earth wreaker types are so against sensible safety regulations?

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  23. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    As someone else mentioned somewhere..this will be Nationals shower head moment if it goes through…be very careful Key.

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  24. Concerned (42 comments) says:

    The Pool Fencing regime has been a shambles in Auckland. Pool owners who have been stung by mindless enforcement fully realise how absurd, unfair, costly, unaesthetic and ineffective the rules have proved in practice. Many have banded together in self-defense.

    http://www.nzpoag.blogspot.co.nz/p/need-for-change.html [provides a further discussion.]

    Pool owners used to joke “Next they’ll want to fence driveways so toddlers don’t get backed over…”. Then what do I read the other day?…that the government has allocated major funds for public housing driveway safety improvements!!

    When will it stop? I’m truly afraid not until absolute zero risk is a standard human right for all New Zealanders.

    God help us.

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  25. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Next they’ll want to fence driveways so toddlers don’t get backed over…”. Then what do I read the other day?…that the government has allocated major funds for public housing driveway safety improvements!!

    Another example of sensible efforts to reduce incidents of toddlers being killed in driveways being bashed by uncaring, probably childless greedies.

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  26. nostrils (53 comments) says:

    Hysteria much. We put in a large paddling pool in 1984, the rules were in place then.

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  27. Concerned (42 comments) says:

    jackinabox…an “example of sensible efforts…”

    Yes…well mate you just wait until the driveway police explain to you the changes you need to make to comply with their concept of a safe driveway. I’m sure you’ll quite happily dig deep…

    Good luck.

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  28. Left Right and Centre (2,997 comments) says:

    wreck1080 – so if you don’t have access to water to swim in, you’re more likely to get fat and die early ?

    hahahahaha….. that’s talkback caller logic.

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  29. Left Right and Centre (2,997 comments) says:

    Just put a fence around low IQ people. NEXT !!

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  30. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Yes…well mate you just wait until the driveway police explain to you the changes you need to make to comply with their concept of a safe driveway. I’m sure you’ll quite happily dig deep…”

    All Police are trespassed from my place Concerned, and I’d rather dig deep than dig a kiddies grave.

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