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Municipal Child Injury Prevention Advocacy Four-sided pool fencing laws PowerPoint Presentation
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Municipal Child Injury Prevention Advocacy Four-sided pool fencing laws

Municipal Child Injury Prevention Advocacy Four-sided pool fencing laws

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Municipal Child Injury Prevention Advocacy Four-sided pool fencing laws

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  1. Municipal Child Injury Prevention AdvocacyFour-sided pool fencing laws Denyse Boxell and Rebecca Nesdale-Tucker, Safe Kids Canada Date: May 2007

  2. Outline • 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

  3. 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 youth

  4. 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 ‘E’s’ - 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 regulations

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

  6. Drowning: Call to Action!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Problem - backyard pools • Pools are a particular hazard for children under age fivewhen 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Solution 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

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

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

  15. Decision-makers 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 member’s 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.

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

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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 policies

  20. 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)

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

  22. 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.

  23. Your Community’s 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?

  24. 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 climbing • Requires retrofitting of 4-sided fencing for existing pools

  25. 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?

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

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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

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

  31. 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 • SMARTRISK • ThinkFirst Canada

  32. 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, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario • Child Safety Link, Nova Scotia • Canadian Parents (81% majority of those polled)

  33. 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 mandatory?”. 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.

  34. 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

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

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

  37. 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.

  38. 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 politician’s constituents and the municipality’s strategic plan • Try to keep meeting small, be aware of how much time you have • Debrief, prompt follow-up with letter & thank you

  39. 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 limits. • Be prepared to answer questions that the council may have about your proposal.

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

  41. 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!)

  42. 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 compliance

  43. Discussion • Outstanding issues • Questions

  44. 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