Laurie Lawrence says calls to ban backyard pool ridiculous
SWIM safety campaigner and Olympic coaching legend Laurie Lawrence this week responded to calls to ban the backyard Aussie pool.
"It is like saying we should fill in all the dams, rivers and oceans," he said from the water at Laurie Lawrence Swim School at Banora Point.
He has alternative measures for bringing down the number of child drownings.
"It is education that saves lives and starting kids off as early as possible in the bath when they get home from hospital," Mr Lawrence said, as he swam with his baby granddaughter Harper Reid.
"With the proper coaching, most kids can jump into a pool and make it back to the edge safely."
He has the hard statistics to back up his claims.
After starting the Kids Alive Do The Five water safety program in 1988, drowning rates in children under five dropped dramatically.
Between 1988 and 1993, the drowning rate of children per 100,000 went from six steadily down to one according to a national pediatrics report.
"Queensland led the world per capita in backyard pool drownings and now it is time to up the ante again on public education," Mr Lawrence said.
At 14 months old, Harper goes under water and can find her pop Laurie to grab hold of - or even make it to the pool edge and hang on.
On January 19, Jo Abi, a regular writer for lifestyle and parenting website ivillage.com.au supported banning private swimming pools, sparking a backlash.
"At iVillage Australia, we had so many stories come across our desk involving safety measures around swimming pools that have failed and it seemed that the current safety measures aren't working," Mrs Abi said.
"I think it is time to step back, really, and have a look at the bigger picture and consider perhaps it's time we do discuss the banning of backyard swimming pools."
But Mr Lawrence disagreed.
"It is a ridiculous statement to be making," he said.