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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

How can anyone live without a pool fence?



Poolfence As this story outlines all too well, a curious toddler and a swimming pool are a deadly mix. I have a pet peeve when I see in these stories the advice to keep your eyes on your kids at all times. Well, duh. But at some point you have to sleep or you might have another child who falls and bumps his head or any number of reasons really good parents let the unthinkable happen. What I really wish authorities said in these cases is you have to have a backup system like a safety fence.

I really can't understand living in a house with toddlers and having no safety fence around the pool. I know they are expensive -- from $10 to $18 a foot -- so you are looking at $500 to $1,000.There a number of alarms or systems you can look into as well, but I don't think I could have ever slept a wink in my house without our fence around the edge of the pool that you had to be at least 5 feet tall to open (and a strict rule in our house that it was locked at all times).

Do you really think a person can watch a child like a hawk all the time? That they'll never be distracted or sleeping or going to the bathroom and a child will wander out back? One of my favorite books, "Freakonomics," makes the compelling point that children face a far greater risk of death from pools in the house than they do from having a gun in the house. So an unfenced pool is like having a loaded gun just sitting around unlocked.

I guess I just know myself too well and didn't want my scattered brain to be our only safety net.

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:01am]


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