All backyard pools must have pool fencing for Melbourne regulations to be satisfied, residents are reminded.
Most households comply with rules requiring safety fences around all private bodies of water designed or used for swimming purposes.
However, a spate of near-drownings has led an emergency room doctor to warn Melburnians of the important of water safety.
Dr Ron Bennett has so far seen over forty children present to the emergency department following backyard swimming pools. Most incidents occurred when a child was playing near an unfenced pool without parental supervision.
“People think it will not happen to them, or that their kid is a strong swimmer so it’s fine not to have a pool fence,” he said.
“Actually, parents often have over-inflated opinions of their child’s swimming skills. Trust me, if your kid falls into the water, they will struggle to stay afloat. Considering how much these people pay to put their kids through private schools, you would think they would pay for a pool fence to stop the kid from drowning and ruining their investment.”
While Dr Bennett has not yet encountered any fatalities due to pool incidents, he says that parents should take pains to keep their children away from pools to avoid near misses.
“I did not go through six years of medical school just to apply a band-aid to some kid that cut his toe on a pool tile because his parents are too vain to install a pool fence,” he said.
“Children and swimming pools just do not mix. You never know when a situation is going to turn ugly. If I had children, I would fill my pool in with dirt.”
Some households do not have swimming pool fences in Melbourne for fear of reducing the aesthetic appeal of their house.
Trendy pool fence designs such as glass fences have been shown to increase the value of a property at auction, so those who are concerned about the impact of a pool fence on the appearance of their backyard are urged to consider unique designs.