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Legislation for Pool Retrofits Is Urged

July 07, 2002

Re "1 Boy Drowns, Another Is Injured in Pool Accidents," June 27:

Last month, two Orange County children drowned in family swimming pools. These children, 2 and 3, were able to access the swimming pools and fall in without being seen or heard by their caretakers.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for Orange County children between 1 and 5. We can avoid these recurrent family and community tragedies by mandating four-sided fencing that isolates the pool or spa from the rest of the property. This strategy, in addition to greater supervision and vigilance, has been proven a lifesaver.Lawmakers are considering state legislation (Assembly Bill 2455) to improve pool safety. However, the bill falls short because it does not mandate the retrofit of pools with isolation fencing and other sensible measures when properties are sold or leased.

To use a slogan from the American Academy of Pediatrics: "Who's for kids and who's just kidding?" In the absence of a legislative mandate, we can only hope that property owners will voluntarily install four-sided isolation enclosures around their pools. The California Chapter 4, American Academy of Pediatrics Injury Prevention Program joins others in advocating that adults protect children by enclosing pools with four-sided isolation fencing in accordance with Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Advocate for legislation at the state and local levels that will make a difference. For information on child drownings and prevention, contact the Web sites: www.aap.org and www.cpsc.gov.

Phyllis Agran

Alberto Gedissman

Executive Directors

California Chapter 4, American Academy of Pediatrics Injury

Prevention Program

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