Swimming Pools: Our Children in Danger

by on 27 April, 2014

In the United States in the period of 2005-2009 there were recorded deaths of 3,533 innocent people in non-boat related unintentional drownings.

Drownings accounted for more than 3,000 deaths between 2005-2009.

There are over 10 million private swimming pools in the United States, that’s roughly one swimming pool for every 35 people! Private swimming pools are often maintained by irresponsible owners, many of whom have small children or entertain guests who are small children, which would explain why a disproportionate number of pool drowning deaths are that of innocent children. Minorities are also at a higher risk of death from drowning in pools, with the CDC recording that the drowning death of a 5-14 year old African American child is three times as likely as that of a white child.

How can such a travesty occur in a modern, developed country like the United States? The answer is the swimming pool culture and lobby.

Just what is this culture? It is the prevailing belief held by many in our society that people have a ‘right’ to have a swimming pool in their backyard, or that a pool doesn’t cause the death of anyone, just irresponsible use of a pool. The statistics don’t lie though, there is an incredibly high number of deaths associated with pool use, and is the freedom of one, or a hundred persons, worth the maiming or death of a child?

Some pool-enthusiasts insist that pools exist for recreation and leisure, and while they have these uses, why do these people not enjoy public swimming pools, which are maintained and operated by trained and licensed professionals who can save people from drowning due to the dangers represented by swimming? The answer is simple, these individuals are selfish and often paranoid right wingers, citing that they do not want to mingle with other members of the community in a public swimming pool and would rather do some in private, they cite health concerns associated with a large body of people in a single body of water for a protracted period of time, and then they also question whether or not they need to be directed and supervised by government authorised officials.

Irresponsibly maintained and operated private swimming pools are a leading cause in the death of innocent children in the United States.

These questions raised by detractors can be answered very easily. The first question regarding sociability can be answered with the belief that building stronger community relations will break down the cultural barriers that affect society and will help us advance further towards an egalitarian future. The second question regarding pool safety and health is easily dismissed, with the proper application of chlorine, and the presence of trained professionals, the concern is a moot point. The third and final point can be dispelled by the fact that it is a matter of safety, and while most people think they are responsible pool owners, it is to ensure the safety of society at large, not the individual.

Public swimming pools build communities, provide fun, and are safe, providing the same enjoyment as a private pool without the danger.

While many of the reasons for insisting that the private ownership of pools may seem trivial, such a trivial interference should not prevent the ability of the government to protect the most disadvantaged and at risk members of society.

Trained professionals can provide effective safety at public swimming pools, more than any untrained private pool owner ever could.

At the end of the day, people do not NEED a private swimming pool for their own leisure, and this is a matter of creating a safe society for our children. Should we let the whims and ‘rights’ of these poolnuts put the lives of our children at risk? Or should the government intervene on the behalf of society to ensure that never again will an innocent child drown in a private swimming pool?

Like how the freedom of speech does not extend to the freedom to be a racist, sexist, and homophobic bigot, nor does the right to own private property extend to the right to own property which may kill any unsuspecting member of the public.

We must urge the government to enact a reform program, which would preferably start off with a rigorous background check for any prospective pool owner to see if they have a criminal history, a history of neglect, have been associated with any known clandestine pool enthusiast associations, or have any unscrupulous political affiliations. Then a National Private Swimming Pool Registry must be established by the Federal government to keep track of all the pools in the country. This registry should also engage in random checks to ensure that pools are being maintained and operated safely. Pools should also be required to be locked and secured at all times, regardless of how many people of what ages live in the household. Large fines and the seizure of pools should follow if anyone infringes upon any of the pool regulations.

It’s time that we, as a society acted against this travesty and prevented more deaths of innocent people.

Together we can end pool deaths.

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