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Royal Life Saving urges parents to be certain on supervision around water
With summer approaching, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia is urging parents not to be complacent about their child’s safety around water.
Highlighting their own research that shows that 461 children under the age of five died due to drowning in Australia over the past 15 years - an average of 31 per year, of which half were in home pools and spas - Royal Life Saving emphasise that active adult supervision had either lapsed or was entirely absent in all cases.
The life saving organisation also stress that for every toddler drowning death approximately 10 children are admitted to hospital as a result of non-fatal drowning. Although they survive, many suffer lifelong consequences.
Royal Life Saving is launching a new awareness campaign urging parents and carers to Keep Watch of children at all times around water.
Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Justin Scarr (pictured below) explains “water is only safe when you’re watching. Distractions like answering the phone, attending to another child, or ducking inside to grab something can have tragic consequences if a toddler is left unattended by water.
“Actively supervise children around water, check your pool fence and gate, and never prop the pool gate open. Swimming lessons are great, but they are no substitute for active supervision and a pool fence in good working order.
“Australians are comfortable around water. Many have grown up swimming in the backyard pool, going to the beach, playing with the garden sprinkler, or paddling down the river. This familiarity means that parents can, let their guard down, even if just for a moment, complacency can lead to disaster.”
A NSW study of child drowning deaths in home swimming pools over the last 15 years showed that in 62% of cases, the child gained access to the pool area through a faulty fence or gate, or a gate which had been deliberately propped open, allowing the child to enter the pool area unaccompanied.
The campaign is the latest initiative of Royal Life Saving’s Keep Watch program which has actively been working for over 20 years to prevent toddler drowning deaths.
As part of the campaign, Royal Life Saving, with support of the Federal Government, have released a series of community service announcements on television and radio, developed a targeted social media activation, and engaged influential parental media outlets in efforts to ensure parents get the keep watch message in time for summer.
The four Keep Watch messages are; constant adult supervision, restrict access to water, teach children water safety, learn how to resuscitate, and above all, always keep watch.
The Keep Watch campaign is supported by the NSW and Western Australian Governments.
A recent survey by the Queensland branch of the Australian Leisure Facilities Association (ALFAQ) revealed that 85% work with the Keep Watch @ Public Pools anti-drowning initiative.
For more information go to keepwatch.com.au
5th November 2017 - CHILD DROWNS AT ORANGE AQUATIC CENTRE
2nd November 2017 - 85% OF QUEENSLAND AQUATIC FACILITIES WORK WITH KEEP WATCH ANTI DROWNING PROGRAM
12th September 2017 - SMALL INCREASE IN AUSTRALIA’S ANNUAL DROWNING NUMBERS
21st April 2017 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING LAUNCHES NATIONAL AQUATIC INDUSTRY SAFETY AWARDS
10th December 2015 - NEW REPORT SHOWS TODDLERS STILL HAVE HIGHEST DROWNING RISK
8th January 2013 - AQUATIC FACILITIES BENEFIT FROM NINE SEASONS OF WATCH AROUND WATER
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