Home | News | WA mulls pool ban at day cares after toddler’s death

WA mulls pool ban at day cares after toddler’s death

The minister for local government and community services, Tony Simpson, is considering a ban on swimming pools at family day care centres after a 2-year-old boy named Lachlan drowned in a Perth suburb earlier this month.

“As the minister responsible for the licensing of child and day care centres in Western Australia, I will do all that I can to ensure that the safety of innocent children attending these premises is the highest priority,” Simpson said.

Lachlan’s parents have since called on the state government to deliver safer environments for children in family day care centres. They have suggested that centres with swimming pools should be assessed as high risk, that there should be stricter guidelines around access to outdoor areas and that the height of pool fences should increase from 1.2 metres to 1.8 metres or more.

Simpson’s department has imposed a new condition on family day cares regarding supervision. If there is a pool on the premises, Simpson said, centres are required to directly supervise children and be in physical proximity to any child near a pool.

“While this may sound like common sense, it is a necessary condition in light of this awful tragedy that has occurred,” Simpson said. “My department will be calling a round table of family day care schemes, educators and parents to discuss safety issues, and whether swimming pools should be allowed at family day care centres will be on the agenda.

“Moreover, this tragedy will be the subject of a coronial inquiry, and there is a separate Ombudsman inquiry into child deaths by drowning,” he said. “I will consider the recommendations of both those inquiries when considering what further changes are required to protect the innocent children attending these premises.”

A spokesperson from Family Day Care Australia said: “Under these tragic circumstances, and in the interest of child safety, any potential review of the guidelines regarding pool safety is an appropriate response.”

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2 comments

  1. Teaching children to swim saves lives, not pool fences, kids always find a way in and always will no matter how high the fence is, make make swimming lessons compulsory until age 2, at least then they have a chance of saving themselves.

    • Death is tragic and burying your own child should not happen. Terrible things happen to good people. Living will sometimes result in tradgey. Family Day Care is home based. In Australia – many homes have pools. When a child drowns in the fenced family home no law is changed to ban pools with families of young children. If a child fell and suffered a brain injury on the concrete path – will we be banning concrete in the play area?. The Coroners Report and Ombudsman Report will identify if any law had been breeched. In the meantime – love and appreciate, in words and actions, the ones we love while we have the chance.

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