Jun 18, 2014
10:08 AMHealth & Science
Son's Drowning Leads Leonard Family to Advocate for Water Safety Education
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For those who want the option of having an unencumbered pool, there are now pools available with removable fencing.
And when it comes to pool safety, fencing is just the beginning. There are pool alarms that will go off if the water moves, wristbands that you can put on your children that will sound if the child goes near the pool, and smartphone apps that can be used in conjunction with these devices to monitor your pool.
Many of these safety devices, including adequate fencing and alarm systems, are required for new pools, but Laudano says many older pools don’t even have gates. If you have an old pool, he advises making sure children can’t just wander into it.
“Check if the gates are self closing,” he says. “Over time gates will come out of adjustment and won’t properly close.” He adds, “having all entry points to the pool properly protected is very important.”
The Leonards’ four daughters grew up to be excellent swimmers. The Stewie the Duck books have sold more than 150,000 copies and profits go directly to the Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities, which has donated $120,000 in swimming scholarships, raised over $1 million to support water safety and nutritional awareness (which is a new cause championed by the charity). It has partnered with the Red Cross and continues to support water-safety efforts throughout the country. Kim Leonard says the organization has been a success and a great way of honoring the memory of their son.
“It really makes you feel good, that we’re a small part of helping other families from having to experience what we went through,” she says.