JOICE, Iowa – A Joice mother is speaking up to her city after she noticed that fences weren’t being put up around pools in her neighborhood.
Her family took action to try to protect their child who, because of a neurological disorder, has a higher risk of drowning than most other kids.
“It’s so easy to just hop up that ladder and climb into that pool,” says Anna Behrens.
She’s noticed a lot of pools being put up in her neighborhood, but a few didn’t have fences around them.
She checked into it, and found that the city doesn’t have an ordinance saying homeowners need a fence around their pools.
Behrens was especially concerned about the un-guarded pools because she has a son with autism.
She explains that autistic children are highly likely to wander putting him at higher risk for drowning.
“They’re not able to express to their parents that they want to go play in the pool, that it’s fun. So they will find a way to wander out of their house, and that’s the first place they will go,” she says It’s one of her biggest fears, since her son is non-verbal.
“If he’s drowning, he has no way of saying help me, help me, and that’s a scary thing.”
Cindy Richardson, the pool manager Opportunity Village, says when it comes to pools without fences, the danger is possible for any child.
“It doesn’t matter if the child wakes up and walks out of the house in the middle of the night and the parents aren’t aware, it is still that homeowner with the pool, it is still their responsibility if a child is injured in their pools,” says Richardson.
As for Behrens, she’s staying hopeful that their town will soon become a little safer.
“They have promised my family they are working on getting an ordinance, so I have to have faith in them that they will take care of this situation.”
We did reach out to the mayor of Joice who hasn’t gotten back to us.
But according to Behrens, the city council told her family they are working on a solution before next month’s meeting.