26 Children have Drowned in Australia in Less than a Year!
There were 26 children between the ages of 0 and 4 years who drowned in Australia between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. This is an increase of 6 drowning deaths (or 30%) on last year’s total of 20 drowning deaths. Swimming pools were the leading location for drowning in this age group, accounting for over half (54%), almost three times that of the next most common location (source: royalifesaving.com.au)
So to work towards a safer environment for our children, here are a few water watcher tips that you should strongly consider:
- Young children require close supervision when they are swimming in the pool.
- It is best is to be in the water with the child and if possible, be within an arm’s length of them at all times. That way you can hear, see and even feel the turbulence of the water if the child is struggling.
- If you cannot be in the water, sit on the side with your feet dangling in the pool.
- A designated adult should be watching children at all times with no distractions
The chance for distraction is great when the sun is shining and the kids are having fun. But, think of the image of a professional lifeguard. It is not the same as babysitting. A designated lifeguard is never involved in any other activity such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn while supervising children. So please been mindful of this when supervising your children while they are swimming or playing near the water.