Warnings over swimming pool dangers

In the first of its kind in NSW, a man has been charged over the drowning death of a neighbour’s toddler.

The 61-year-old man is facing manslaughter charges after a two-year-old fell into his pool and drowned in May.

Police believe the fencing around his pool wasn’t adequate.

According to some, this unique case suggests that people are becoming complacent about the safety of backyard swimming pools.

Michael Morris from the Samuel Morris Foundation says pool owners should always be vigilant about safety whether they have children or not.

"We encourage them to enjoy their backyard swimming pool but encourage them to always be aware it's a potential danger to children who are at the property or may visit the property."

It’s estimated a significant proportion of the state’s 350,000 pools don’t meet the safety requirements, putting children at risk.

Mr Morris agrees: "A number of council spot inspections have shown that at least 50 per cent of those backyard swimming pools would not comply with the current legislation."

Things to look out for include:

  • Gates that don't self-close or are propped open.

  • Gaps under the fence or between panels

  • Furniture placed too close to the fence.