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Do NOT prop open the gate.

Nov 24 2020 2:14 PM

Consider your child's safety, and the safety of others, when you teach them how to open and then prop open a gate.


We all know it is excellent to teach our young children to be independent, but please consider how safe it is to teach your child how to open the playpen gate and prop it open. Yes, it may make it easier for them to get to the toys, or for parents with grizzly kids, but consider their safety and the safety of other children. The fence is there for a reason – to keep your children away from the water. Propping open the gate defeats this purpose and may put another child at risk.

Children do not realize the dangerous implications if they leave the gate open and skills such as these will transfer to other places and situations. They may not only open and prop the gate at just this facility but also other swimming centers or home pools giving children unsupervised access to water.

The 2017 financial year saw a total of 29 drowning deaths in children aged 0-4 years and swimming pools were the leading location (45%)1, although death is not the only possible outcome from drowning. There are, on average, 474 Non-Fatal Drownings2 per year often resulting in various degrees of brain damage. The leading age group for non-fatal drowning is 0-4 years with an average of 42%2. More than a third occur in swimming pools, making pools the leading location for non-fatal drowning. Therefore safety around the pool and being aware of what we teach our children to do around swimming pools and water is paramount.



1 – Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (2017) Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2017, Sydney Australia. © Royal Life Saving Society – Australia 2017

2 – Mahony, A, Barnsley, P, Peden, AE, Scarr, J (2017) A thirteen year national study of non-fatal drowning in Australia: Data challenges, hidden impacts and social costs, Royal Life Saving Society – Australia. Sydney.