An alarming video has captured a three-year-old boy climbing onto the roof of a toy car and opening a pool gate for himself and his little sister.
A Perth mum shared the footage online ahead of the Australia Day long weekend to show other parents how easily kids could gain access to the pool if they weren’t being properly supervised.
“I sat back and watched it happen because I wanted to see if he could actually open it, and I have filmed it to show parents that sometimes just a pool gate isn’t enough,” she wrote on her post.
The woman said she was shocked by what her kids managed to do and will be putting a padlock on the gate from now on.
The sight was particularly disturbing given the highest number of water-related deaths in children under the age of five occurred in backyard swimming pools, former Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence told Yahoo News Australia.
The video shows the boy carefully climbing onto his toy car and positioning himself on his knees wearing nothing but underwear before reaching up and opening the gate by pulling up its magnetic latch.
He then climbs to his feet and while in a standing position, pulls the gate open towards himself to open it and steps down from the toy car.
His little sister then appears in her nappy and makes a beeline for the open gate and shoves herself through the gap.
The entire break-in took less than one minute, illustrating how easily resourceful children can put themselves in the way of extreme danger.
Mr Lawrence has spearheaded a campaign with Poolwerx ahead of the long weekend, encouraging households to nominate a Responsible Pool Person to supervise kids around the pool.
Drowning was the cause of 276 Australian deaths last year and 34 deaths already this summer.
“One of the things we always say is to remove furniture around the pool. If they’ve got access to furniture, or in this instance a toy car to stand on, it becomes very problematic and very dangerous,” Mr Lawrence said.
“When it comes to supervision, I don’t care who you are, no parent can supervise their kids 24/7.”
Mr Lawrence encouraged carers to familiarise themselves with his Kids Alive guidelines - fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim, supervise, and learn how to resuscitate.
“If you can perform CPR at the point of emersion, then kids are 80 per cent more likely to survive a near-drowning experience.
“If you’ve got a kid that’s a climber, then it’s even more imperative that they learn to swim.”
Terrifying possibility in backyard pools
The concerning video sparked a strong reaction from social media users who were shocked at the child’s easy ability to open the gate on his own.
“That’s scary. We have a hand lock you have to do at the same time as pulling the top up plus a strap thread through, but I get concerned they will just climb up on our back wall,” someone wrote in a comment.
“That scares me so much. So easy to happen, I’m so glad you were there the whole time. Hope you’re ok, I would be so shaken up,” another said.
“Wow he is so clever. Not good if he can do it himself. Glad you were there to watch,” a third person wrote.
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