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Watch Around Water gets season launch

Watch Around Water gets season launch
December 16, 2016

LIWA Aquatics and the Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia have launched their Watch Around Water program for the 2016/2017 summer season.

Held at the Beatty Park Leisure Centre yesterday (Thursday 15th December), Watch Around Water backs public swimming pools in encouraging community members visiting their centres with young children to put down their focus on the safety of their children by remaining alert and not being distracted by smartphones and social interaction.

In an effort to prevent childhood drowning and aquatic injury, for the 2016/2017 summer season, the campaign is highlighting the dangers of being distracted when supervising children around the water.

Among all demographics and ages, children remain at the highest risk of drowning and injury. Last year almost half of the injuries recorded at public swimming pool facilities in Western Australia involved children under 14 years of age.

Lauren Nimmo, Senior Manager Health Promotion and Research at the Royal Life Saving Society WA says “more education is needed to ensure that parents are aware of their supervision responsibilities while visiting these facilities with young children. Even though lifeguards are on duty, parents still have a crucial role to play in keeping children safe.”

The Watch Around Water program has been promoting safe supervision messages at public swimming pools throughout Western Australia for over a decade, and as a result there has been a significant shift in patron behaviour.

The program has also been adopted by facilities in other states.

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.

“While we have seen a steady improvement in the level of parental supervision at our facilities, we are also seeing a disturbing trend in the number of parents distracted by their mobile phones. We need to change this behaviour quickly to ensure that our pools remain safe.”

Nimmo cites the most common factor contributing to childhood drowning as lapses in adult supervision, adding “it doesn’t take long for tragedy to occur. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and any distraction, even if only for a moment to check your mobile phone, places them at risk.

“Parents need to be mindful of the potential for unnecessary distraction while supervising children, especially around the water, and smart phones with streaming technology pose a real and growing danger as a source of distraction.

“It is our hope that this new campaign will alert caregivers to the possible distractions, the risks for injury and the potential consequences of a monetary lapse in supervision.”

The campaign will be running at public swimming pools throughout Western Australia this summer.

Click here for more information on keeping children safe at public aquatic centres.

Images: LIWA Aquatics Executive Officer Tony Head with Lauren Nimmo at the Watch Around Water season launch (top) and the campaign uses children to remind parents to stay alert (below). 

7th December 2016 - KEEP WATCH PROGRAM MARKS 20 YEARS AND AN 85% REDUCTION IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S TODDLER DROWNING RATE

7th November 2016 - CLUBS SA RENEWS MAJOR SPONSORSHIP OF WATCH AROUND WATER IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

9th March 2016 - LIWA AQUATICS TO PRESENT NEW WATCH AROUND WATER ‘FACILITY OF THE YEAR’ AWARD

10th December 2015 - NEW REPORT SHOWS TODDLERS STILL HAVE HIGHEST DROWNING RISK

10th January 2015 - 10 MILLION ANNUAL VISITS TO PUBLIC POOLS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA 

30th July 2013 - AIMS TO LINK WATCH AROUND WATER PROGRAM WITH OTHER ANTI-DROWNING INITIATIVES

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 

11th November 2009 - DROWNING SPARKS CALL FOR NATIONAL WATER SAFETY PROGRAM


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