The Herald reports that homeowners may be fined $500 for no fencing around paddling pools 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.