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Safe Kids Canada


Canadian Red Cross. Life Saving Society. Pool And Hot Tub Council of Canada ... Nearly half (48 per cent) of Canadian parents polled have a pool, a spa, or a hot tub. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Safe Kids Canada

Municipal Child Injury Prevention Advocacy
Four-sided pool fencing laws
Denyse Boxell and Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Safe
Kids Canada Date May 2007
  • Safe Kids Canada - Public Policy and Advocacy
  • Safe Kids Week Campaign 2007
  • Drowning prevention and four-sided pool fencing
  • Municipal governments
  • Build a coalition
  • Gather the evidence
  • Determine a strategy
  • Raise awareness
  • Demonstrate support to decision-makers
  • Questions and Discussion

Our Main Goals Safe Kids Canada
  • To increase public awareness of knowledge and
    action regarding proper safety practices
  • To advocate for measures that will create safer
    environments and improve compliance with proper
    safety practices
  • To stimulate local action by providing services
    to those working in injury prevention at the
    community level
  • To provide and promote child injury prevention
    strategies and tools to targeted audiences
  • To prevent unintentional injury to children and

Advocacy for Injury Prevention
  • Advocates can take action to make Canada the
    safest country in the world to live, learn, play
    and travel
  • Reducing injuries efficiently requires a
    multi-faceted approach combining the three Es
    - education, engineering and enforcement
  • Safety can be built in Safety requires
    healthy public policy, a safe built environment,
    safe product design, well-enforced laws and

Municipal issues in child and youth injury
  • Injury prevention issues with a municipal focus
  • Pedestrian Safety
  • Playground Safety
  • Helmet Safety
  • Pool fencing Safety

Drowning Call to Action!
Safe Kids Week 2007
  • Goal of advocacy campaign
  • Increase information to target audience(s) about
    the need for pool-fencing safety laws
    four-sided with self-closing, self-latching gate.
  • Build capacity for enactment of laws municipal
    by-laws with municipal enforcement and/or
    provincial minimum standards enforced at the
    municipal level.
  • Reduce water-related injury and death.

Safe Kids Week 2007
  • Theme Drowning Prevention
  • Defining the Problem Pool drowning
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of injury
    death to Canadian children. Swimming pools are
    the site of nearly half of all drowning and
    near-drowning incidents for children age 14 and
    under, measures must be taken to reduce drowning
    in these environments.

Identifying Solutions drowning prevention
  • The only passive prevention strategy that has
    been shown to significantly reduce drowning in
    home pools is four-sided fencing with a
    self-closing and self-latching gate.

The Problem - backyard pools
  • Pools are a particular hazard for children under
    age five when the pool can be reached directly
    from the house. Children wander into the pool
    area when they are momentarily out of sight.
  • Drowning can happen quickly and silently
    children who survive a near-drowning (submersion
    injury) frequently have long-term side effects
    from brain injury, due to a period of time
    without breathing.

Problem - Solution
  • Many residential pools fencing laws in place in
    Canada require only three sided perimeter,
    fencing and as such do not protect the children
    who live in the house with the pool.
  • At minimum a 1.2 m (4ft) high, four-sided fence
    that completely encloses the pool with a
    self-closing and self-latching gate is proven to
    help prevent children from reaching the pool.

  • Researchers estimate that proper fencing around
    pools could prevent 7 out of 10 drowning
    incidents in home swimming pools for children
    under age 5.
  • Public pools are covered by separate regulations

Snapshot safer pool fencing laws
  • International
  • Australia, France and New Zealand have put
    legislation in place requiring safer pool
  • Canada
  • No national laws
  • No provincial laws in place
  • Patchwork of municipal laws

Municipal Action examples of safer bylaws
  • Safer Pool fencing bylaws Ontario
  • Mulmur
  • Peterborough
  • Oakville
  • Anticipated in French River…

  • Safe Kids Canada and our partners urge municipal
    governments to enact and support four-sided pool
    fencing laws requiring barrier fencing with
    self-closing, self-latching gates to reduce child
    drowning rates.
  • Provinces could mandate a minimum level of
    pool safety. Quebec has been investigating a
    province-wide law. There is a private members
    bill in Ontario which, if passed, would require
    pool fencing in every municipality. This law
    would require a minimum standard which
    municipalities could exceed. As with other
    building/permit issues, enforcement would likely
    be at the municipal level.

Municipal Governments
  • Municipal planning is critical to quality of life
    in Canada as municipal government shapes the
    communities in which we live

Municipal Jurisdiction
  • Municipal Government is a corporation that has
    defined geographic boundaries and an elected
    council. It has the ability to collect property
    taxes and to deliver services.
  • The primary source of authority for municipal
    governments is the Municipal Act.
  • Many other provincial laws and regulations
    delegate powers to the municipality including
    building codes.

Municipal Council
  • Who forms municipal government?
  • A head of council (Mayor or Reeve)
  • A varying number of councillors

Municipal Council
  • What does a municipal council do?
  • Legislates Enacts policies that direct the
    operations of the community through resolutions,
    by-laws and budgets
  • Executive functions Initiates proposals for
    municipal action, administers programs and

Municipal Mayors / Reeves
  • The mayor is usually elected at large
  • Acts as head of council and as spokesperson
  • The mayor has a regular vote (in some provinces a
    veto power)

Standing Committees
  • Made up of members of council
  • Provide a forum for public input
  • Provide advice to rest of council
  • Link council and administrators

Municipal Government
  • Fencing laws are typically found at the municipal
    level in Canada.
  • By-laws are enforced at the municipal level.
  • It appears that many municipal fencing laws,
    where they exist, deal with property/perimeter
    fencing. Self-closing, self-latching gates
    should be specified.
  • Fencing must also protect the children in the
    home with the pool.

Your Communitys Pool Fencing By-law
  • Does it need changing?
  • Is there a pool fencing by-law in place?
  • Is it comprehensive?
  • Do people know about it?
  • Is it enforced?

Comprehensive By-law Key features
  • Clearly specifies 4-sided pool fencing
  • Requires a self-closing and self-latching gate
  • Minimum height of 1.22m (4 feet)
  • By-law covers in-ground, above-ground, inflatable
    and spa pools/Jacuzzis
  • Specifies fence construction that inhibits
  • Requires retrofitting of 4-sided fencing for
    existing pools

Action next steps
  • Do you need…
  • A new by-law?
  • An amendment to your current pool fencing by-law?
  • And/or plan to promote and enforce the by-law?

The Incremental Approach
  • Changes in public policy are often made
  • To be successful, asks are often refined.
  • We make gains and build upon them.

Municipal Advocacy Activities
  • Share background documents
  • Letter writing to council
  • Public speaking
  • Work with the media
  • Collaborate with other groups who can help to
    influence municipal policy
  • Use tools for local action
  • Meet with decision-makers

Coalition Building
  • Change the local by-law in your area
  • Speak with other concerned people or
    organizations about how you can protect local
    kids from drowning
  • Work together to encourage your community to
    require the installation 4 ft (1.2m), four-sided
    fencing around home swimming pools with a
    self-closing and self-latching gate.

Ideas for membership / consultation
  • Safety groups (Red Cross, LifeSaving Society)
  • Local leaders
  • Councillor (s)
  • Permit officer, By-law enforcement officers
  • People with personal experience of the issue
  • Public health
  • Medical personnel
  • Chief administrative officer
  • Fencers
  • Provincial/ Territorial municipal associations

Pro and Con understanding stakeholders
  • Advocates
  • Stakeholders
  • Decision-makers
  • Influencers
  • Opponents Be prepared with counter-arguments

Pool Fencing - known supporters
  • Safe Kids Canada
  • Safe Kids Worldwide
  • The World Health Organization
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • Life Saving Society
  • Pool And Hot Tub Council of Canada
  • Safe Communities Canada
  • ThinkFirst Canada

Supporters continued
  • Institut national de santé publique du Québec
  • MPP Lou Rinaldi, Northumberland, Ontario
  • AHSC Trauma Program
  • Alberta Centre for Injury Prevention and Control
  • Atlantic Network for Injury Prevention
  • IMPACT, Manitoba
  • BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit
  • Plan-it-Safe, Childrens Hospital of Eastern
  • Child Safety Link, Nova Scotia
  • Canadian Parents (81 majority of those polled)

Public Support National Survey
  • Safe Kids Canada worked with Decima Research to
    understand how Canadian parents feel about
    mandatory safer pool fencing.
  • Participants were asked
  • Would you approve changing laws to make
    four-sided fencing around swimming pools
  • Results A resounding 81 per cent would approve
    changing laws to make four-sided fencing around
    home swimming pools mandatory. Nearly half (48
    per cent) of Canadian parents polled have a pool,
    a spa, or a hot tub.

Gather the Information
  • Pull together the information that you need to
    make your case
  • Research
  • Drowning facts
  • Benefits of fencing
  • Costs of fencing
  • Costs of doing nothing
  • Local stories and opinion

Plan Your Strategy
  • Plan your strategy to influence decision-makers.
  • Use the resources at your disposal to make
  • Human
  • Financial
  • Tools
  • Templates
  • see our municipal guide

  • Target people
  • Target dates
  • Delegate tasks
  • Strategy development
  • Who, how, where, when
  • Timing can be important think about election
    schedules etc.

Public Support - Local
  • Garner and demonstrate support in your community
  • Petitions
  • Testimonials
  • Letters of support
  • Public meetings / surveys
  • Committee participation
  • Familiarize yourself with arguments for and
    against mandatory pool fencing - see the
    Frequently Asked Questions included in your
    partner update.

Meetings with Politicians
  • Build Rapport
  • Learn what you can about them and their record on
    safety issues before you go
  • Position yourself as a resource
  • Be organized to provide key messages and
    information (facts sheets, briefing notes)
  • Position the issue in the context of politicians
    constituents and the municipalitys strategic
  • Try to keep meeting small, be aware of how much
    time you have
  • Debrief, prompt follow-up with letter thank you

Presenting to Council
  • Consider making an appearance or delegation in
    front of council. Council meetings are generally
    open to the public. You may be required to
    register your intention to present, submit a
    letter and/or brief prior to an appearance.
  • Councils may also hold meetings to talks about
    particular issues.
  • Be prepared with your presentation respect time
  • Be prepared to answer questions that the council
    may have about your proposal.

Ask your representative to take action
  • Encourage your municipal councillor, alderman,
    mayor or reeve to present the proposed by-law to
  • Equip your representative with a presentation and
    the specific wording for the new by-law,
    amendment or resolution.

Resources templates and tools
  • Safe Kids Week 2007 Resources
  • Petition form
  • Model by-law and checklist
  • Fact sheet
  • Discussion document
  • Fencing diagrams
  • Chart of current pool fencing laws
  • Sample letter (To send to Council personalized
    letters are best!)

Resources templates and tools
  • Matte story
  • Presentation on pool fencing
  • Municipal Advocacy Guide
  • Sample resolution
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • SKW 2007 partner updates
  • Sample pamphlets pool fencing and by-law

  • Outstanding issues
  • Questions

Thank you!
  • Thank you all for joining us!
  • Safe Kids Canada/SecuriJeunes Canada
  • 1-888 SAFE TIPS
  • (1-888-723-3847)
  • fax 416-813-4986