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New report shows toddlers still have highest drowning risk
A new report by the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics and the Royal Life Saving Society WA reveals that the popularity of public swimming pools in Western Australia is increasing with over 10.4 million visitations recorded over the past year - with the majority of these being young children.
However, children consistently record the highest rate of injury at public swimming pools than any other age group underlining why the Watch Around Water safe supervision program is so essential.
The Watch Around Water program has been in place in Western Australia since 2004 following a number of drowning incidents recorded at public swimming pools.
The program’s key message is that while lifeguards have an important role to play in aquatic centres, parents, mature family members and caregivers of young children need to take a proactive supervision role.
Its key message is ‘We’re Not Babysitters! - Parents Supervise, Lifeguards Save Lives’.
Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro explains “the Watch Around Water program has been critical to ensuring that our public swimming pools remain safe for the community.
“The sharing of responsibility for supervision of young children between lifeguards and parents has seen a remarkable shift in behaviour regarding the level of parental supervision.
“Watch Around Water has been in place for over 12 years and not one drowning involving a young child has been recorded in our public pools during this time which is a great achievement.”
The Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre has been a part of the Watch Around Water program since its inception and has recently reopened after a significant redevelopment.
Long serving pool lifeguard Debbie Mills knows too well the importance of parental supervision of young children while at public swimming pools, stating “it is concerning how often parents drop off young children at the pool or leave them unsupervised in the water – lifeguards are not babysitters!
“We need parents to realise that they can’t check their responsibilities at the door.
“Even though lifeguards are on duty, parents still have a crucial safety role to play to keep children safe.”
With summer here and school holidays about to start the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics and the Royal Life Saving Society WA are urging all parents to be aware of their supervision role when visiting their local pool.
Children under five years must be supervised within arm’s reach at all times and children under 10 must be accompanied into the centre by a responsible adult and supervised within line of sight.
Parents Supervise, Lifeguards Save Lives.
For more information go to www.watcharoundwater.com.au
26th November 2015 - WATCH AROUND WATER GETS SOUTH AUSTRALIAN LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION BACKING
11th November 2015 - HUNDREDS MORE WA CHILDREN EXPECTED TO GAIN LIFESAVING BRONZE MEDALLION
3rd February 2015 - AUSTRALIAN POOL SUPER VISION TO BE SHOWCASED TO US AQUATIC PROFESSIONALS
10th January 2015 - 10 MILLION ANNUAL VISITS TO PUBLIC POOLS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
31st October 2014 - VICTORIAN AND WA EVENTS HIGHLIGHT IMPORTANCE OF WATER SAFETY
8th January 2013 - AQUATIC FACILITIES BENEFIT FROM NINE SEASONS OF WATCH AROUND WATER
16th February 2012 - WATCH AROUND WATER PROGRAM REACHES 100 POOLS IN VICTORIA
29th August 2011 - LIFEGUARDS ARE NOT BABYSITTERS!: WATCH AROUND WATER LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE
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