Deadly Statistics Stress Importance Of Pool Fencing

Fargo Cass Public Health would like to remind residents that fencing is required around swimming pools, including portable pools two feet high or greater.

Statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that about 1,000 young children drown every year. In case after case, very young children have gotten away from parents who had their attention diverted only momentarily and ended up at the bottom of the family swimming pool. According to the statistics, drowning is the leading cause of death for young children between 1 and 4 years old and the second-leading cause of death for toddlers and children between 1 and 14 years of age. In 7 out of 10 cases, an adult was supervising a young child who later drowned and reported that the child was out of sight for only a few minutes or less before the fatal accident. Pool and spa experts have estimated that 70 percent of all pool drowning would be avoided with a swimming pool fence.

Under Fargo, West Fargo and Cass County ordinances, any swimming pool that is two feet deep or greater, and has a recirculation system is considered a permanent swimming pool. So even if a pool sits on a lawn and is put away at the end of summer, the permanent pool regulations may still apply.

All permanent swimming pools, both in and above ground, must be completely enclosed by a fence or other permanent barrier that is at least five feet high. The fence around a pool should include a gate or door which latches from the inside.

Residents of Cass County who live in cities other than Fargo & West Fargo should review their local pool fencing ordinances.