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Royal Life Saving WA partners with LIWA Aquatics to stress water safety vigilance over summer holidays
Royal Life Saving WA is partnering with the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics (LIWA) to remind parents and carers of young children about their responsibility to keep close watch of their children while attending WA’s many public aquatic centres this summer.
Unfortunately many parents mistakenly believe that their responsibility to watch their children diminishes at these facilities due to the presence of lifeguards, however it is vital, especially in the peak summer period where attendance is high, that parents realise their responsibility to watch their children remains exactly the same as if they were spending time in a backyard pool at home.
The most recent National Drowning Report revealed that almost half (45%) of drowning deaths recorded last year occurred during the summer months, which was a 17% increase from the previous year. In addition, on average there are 117 child drowning incidents (including both fatal and non-fatal) recorded in WA each year.
The Watch Around Water program has been in place in WA public swimming pools since 2004. Despite some recent high-profile drowning deaths of young children in public pools nationally, none have been recorded in WA aquatic centres since the program started.
Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Lauren Nimmo advises "with the warmer summer months, school holidays and festive season just around the corner, the issue of water safety becomes even more important. It's also a great time to head down and enjoy your local pool. And while your local pool is one of the safest places to swim and have fun, it's important to remind parents with young children visiting these facilities of the need to actively supervise their children."
Nimmo adds "while we haven't recorded any child drowning deaths at our public pools over the past 15 years, the risk remains high. The best way to keep children safe when visiting your local pool is to always keep a close eye on them. Vigilance is required, no matter how confident a young swimmer may be. It also means that you can't become less vigilant because you see a lifeguard on duty. As a parent, you know your child best, so the primary supervision role sits with you.
"Our lifeguards are not babysitters and our pool is not a daycare. The lifeguards’ job is to help in an emergency, but they are responsible for watching everyone at the pool. We want you to have fun, but we want you to have fun while being safe.
“Consider our lifeguards as part of your team to keep your children safe while you are visiting the pool - they count on you to watch your child and you can count on them to help when you need it."
Royal Life Saving WA's Supervision Tips for parents and caregivers
- Be Prepared - make sure that you have everything you need before you get into the water
- Be Close - always stay within arms' reach of your child at all times. For older children, always stay within line of sight
- All of Your attention - focus all of your attention on your child, get into the pool, talk and play with them
- All of the Time - never leave your child alone in the water, not even with an older sibling
- So if you are heading to your local pool this summer, remember - Parents Supervise. Lifeguards Save Lives. It's your child, your focus and always Watch Around Water.
26th November 2019 - Life Saving Victoria launches new SwimSafe safety campaign for public pools
11th October 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA presents 2019 Bravery Awards
24th January 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA helps women learn to Swim and Survive
25th September 2018 - Adventure Park Geelong becomes Watch Around Water first
7th September 2018 - German lifeguards warn that child drownings linked to parents’ smartphone ‘fixation’
16th August 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA provides Swim and Survive program for CaLD children
20th June 2018 - Western Australian Governor named new Royal Life Saving WA Patron
8th January 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA recognises quick-thinking lifeguards
16th December 2016 - Watch Around Water gets season launch
7th November 2016 - Clubs SA renews major sponsorship of Watch Around Water in South Australia
26th November 2015 - Watch Around Water gets South Australian Local Government Association backing
16th February 2012 - Watch Around Water program reaches 100 pools in Victoria
11th September 2011 - Watch Around Water gets Federal backing at South Australian launch
29th August 2011 - Lifeguards are not babysitters!: Watch Around Water launches new website
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