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STATEMENTS OF POLICY

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE

[55 PA. CODE CHS. 3270, 3280 AND 3290]

Inaccessibility of Aboveground Swimming Pools

[26 Pa.B. 3553]

   The purpose of this statement of policy is to clarify the Department of Public Welfare's (Department) policy regarding inaccessibility of aboveground swimming pools.

Discussion

   Swimming pools are inherently hazardous and children are inherently curious. They are often unaware of the potential drowning dangers associated with pools. In the summer of 1995, a child in care in a group day care home drowned in a swimming pool at the facility. As a result of that incident, the Department has determined it is necessary to clarify the current regulations that require that an above-ground pool which is not in use shall be made inaccessible to children (§§ 3270.115(a)(3), 3280.115(a)(3) and 3290.115(a)(2)).

   The operator's assertion that an aboveground swimming pool is off-limits or inaccessible to children is not sufficient to constitute compliance with these regulations. Training has been provided to day care licensing representatives regarding assessing the potential for children to access an aboveground swimming pool. If a licensing representative determines that a child can access a pool, the pool will be considered accessible to children and therefore not in compliance with the Department's regulations. The operator will be required to render the pool inaccessible to children. The Department must be satisfied that as the result of the correction, no child will be able to access the pool. All aboveground pools will be inspected according to this clarification.

Interpretation

   The operator's representation that an above-ground swimming pool is off-limits or inaccessible to children is not sufficient to ensure compliance with the regulation. At the time of a facility inspection, the Department's licensing representative will determine whether an above-ground swimming pool is accessible to children. If the pool is accessible, the operator will be required to make the swimming pool inaccessible to children.

Contact Person

   Comments and questions regarding this statement of policy should be directed to Jennifer Lau, Bureau of Child Day Care Services, 4th Fl., Bertolino Bldg., 1401 N. 7th St., Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675, (717) 787-8691.

Effective Date

   This statement of policy shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

FEATHER O. HOUSTOUN,   
Secretary

   (Editor's Note: The regulations of the Department, 55 Pa. Code Chapters 3270, 3280 and 3290, are amended by adding statements of policy at §§ 3270.115a, 3280.115a and 3290.115a, to read as set forth in Annex A.)

   Fiscal Note: 14-BUL-46. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A

TITLE 55.  PUBLIC WELFARE

PART V.  CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES MANUAL

Subpart D.  NONRESIDENTIAL AGENCIES, FACILITIES AND SERVICES

ARTICLE I.  LICENSING/APPROVAL

CHAPTER 3270.  CHILD DAY CARE CENTERS

PROGRAM

§ 3270.115a.  Water activity--statement of policy.

   The operator's representation that an aboveground swimming pool is off-limits or inaccessible to children is not acceptable to ensure compliance with the regulation. At the time of a facility inspection, the Department's licensing representative will determine whether an above-ground swimming pool is accessible to children. If the pool is accessible, the operator will be required to make the swimming pool inaccessible to children.

CHAPTER 3280.  GROUP DAY CARE HOMES

PROGRAM

§ 3280.115a.  Water activity--statement of policy.

   The operator's representation that an aboveground swimming pool is off-limits or inaccessible to children is not acceptable to ensure compliance with the regulation. At the time of a facility inspection, the Department's licensing representative will determine whether an above-ground swimming pool is accessible to children. If the pool is accessible, the operator will be required to make the swimming pool inaccessible to children.

CHAPTER 3290.  FAMILY DAY CARE HOMES

PROGRAM

§ 3290.115a.  Water activity--statement of policy.

   The operator's representation that an aboveground swimming pool is off-limits or inaccessible to children is not acceptable to ensure compliance with the regulation. At the time of a facility inspection, the Department's licensing representative will determine whether an above-ground swimming pool is accessible to children. If the pool is accessible, the operator will be required to make the swimming pool inaccessible to children.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-1211. Filed for public inspection July 26, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]



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