Mum fights for pool gate alarms to be made mandatory
A Waggrakine pool safety advocate and her family planned to release balloons at the gravesite of her three-year-old son on Thursday to mark what would have been his fourth birthday.
Jake Anthony Botica, died on February 23 after he wandered into the swimming pool of his home because the gate had become stuck on a toy and was left open.
His mother Kylie Parker had been renting at the time and has only been able to return to her former home once since the drowning to try to make peace with Jake’s death.
“Even driving past the house is too hard,” Ms Parker said.
“I’ve only recently been back in the pool (Geraldton Aquarena) because I’m pregnant and I want to teach my little boy how to swim.
“But it’s been very difficult ... every time I see a child going under water, I get very nervous.”
The 30-year-old, who is due to give birth again in February, has been campaigning to get an alarm system on every pool fence in the country. The alarm is designed to beep loudly when a gate has been opened for more than a few seconds.
She has been lobbying the State Government for legislative change and is raising awareness by volunteering with KidSafe WA.
“A lot of people don’t know about the pool gate alarms,” Ms Parker said. “They should be mandatory.
“If I can save another child’s life, I will.”
The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety suggested that pool gate alarms be made a legal requirement to Standards Australia in April, but after a review, the recommendation was rejected. According to the reviewing committee, alarms may create a false sense of security and people need to be supervising their children.
The public is able to provide feedback for the next review until December 31.
For more information, contact Standards Australia on 1800 035 822.
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