It may be cold across much of the country. But today in Florida there’s lots of talk about swimming pool safety and a bill that would prevent electrocution deaths such as the one that claimed the life of 7-year-old Calder Sloan.
Sloan was electrocuted in his family pool 10 months ago because of a faulty pool light.
“What we’ve discovered is there is so many things that can go wrong in a pool that can lead to fatal injuries,” his dad, Chris Sloan, told CBS4 in Miami. “We weren’t aware of that. And had we been aware of that you damn right we would have had a pool inspected.”
Since his son’s death, Sloan has been pushing for legislation that would protect other children and prevent similar tragedies.
Bills just filed by two Democrat state lawmakers would require:
-inspections of pool lights every five years in all public pools;
-disclosing the dangers of high voltage pool lights when a home with a pool is sold;
-limiting the voltage of all new pool lights to 15 volts
None of those requirements are currently law.
Combined, Chris Sloan says, the measures might have saved Calder’s life.
But whether these bills have a chance of passing comes down to politics, since the Florida legislature is controlled by Republicans.
“We know that Democrats in our legislature face challenges getting bills passed,” Sloan told the Sun Sentinel newspaper. “Right now we’re begging to have help from ‘our friends across the aisle,’ as the politicians would say.”
Sloan told the Sentinel that his next step is look to get a federal law passed. He’s met with U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel and hopes to get a meeting with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“She was so instrumental when she was in the state [legislature] in getting fences around pools where there are children,” he told the paper.
Sloan has managed to get Miami-Dade and Broward counties in south Florida to provide incentives for homeowners to replace old, high-voltage lights with newer ones that are low-voltage.
He tells CBS in Miami:”It’s not an expensive process to downgrade your lighting,” he said. “It should be a no brainer.”