OTTAWA LAWYER– While on vacation we stumbled across a display by a community group in Florida that was advocating increased safety around backyard pools. Of course backyard pools are extremely common in Florida but they are increasingly common in eastern Ontario
particularly with the availability of relatively inexpensive above ground pools. All pools in ground, above ground, hot tubs, even fishponds can create hazard for children in particular. Drowning is still a leading cause of death among small children as we all unfortunately know.
This community group came up with a great idea to avoid the all too common disaster of what they call “pool party” drownings. This is the very sad situation where there are so many adults and kids around a pool that everyone thinks everyone else is watching, but in fact no one is watching the pool.
The idea is a simple one. A lanyard with an index card indicating “pool monitor” is given to one responsible adult at any time. If you are in possession of the lanyard you are “on duty” for ensuring that you are watching the pool at all times. If you need to leave the pool area, the idea is to pass the lanyard to another responsible adult who then understands that it’s his or her responsibility to monitor the pool. This avoids the situation where no one knows who’s in charge.
For example, often the host of a pool party is busy going in and out of the house getting drinks and food and may mistakenly assume that the other adults attending the party are watching the children swimming. On the other hand the other adults figure they are guests at a party and isn’t the host the one who would or should be supervising?
It would certainly be very easy to make something like this, or perhaps even more attractive. Given that we like to entertain around our pool I expect it is something that we will implement at our next pool party. You really never can be too cautious around pools.