Issue: Drowning in swimming pools
In 2018, drowning was the third-leading cause of injury-related death to Canadian children aged 14 years and younger. The majority of drowning cases (including both fatal and non-fatal) over approximately the last decade in Canada occurred in swimming pools and over half of those cases involved children aged four and younger.
Problem: Current legislative status
Pools without proper fencing are a particular hazard for children under five years of age. Unintentionally falling into a pool is a leading cause of drowning deaths in this age group. In most places in Canada, safer pool fencing is not yet required.
Researchers estimate that safer pool fencing could prevent three-quarters of all drowning incidents in pools among children.
Solution: Safer pool fencing
Safer pool fencing consists of a minimum 1.2-metre (four-foot) high, four-sided pool fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate that regulates all access points.
Municipalities have the ability to enact safer pool fencing bylaws for homes with pools. Provincial and territorial jurisdictions can support municipal efforts by establishing province-wide safer pool fencing laws.
Government can help create safer environments within their communities by proper enforcement measures and by providing education about safer pool fencing.