Drowning deaths in young children are preventable. For more than 25 years, Keep Watch has been advising Australian parents and carers on how to keep their children safe when in, on or around the water.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children 0-4 years of age. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that drowning is the number one cause of death in one-, two- and three-year-old children (ABS 2019).
Between 1 July 2002/03 and 30 June 2021/22, 549 children aged 0 to 4 years drowned in Australia. The drowning risk triples when children turn one. Royal Life Saving research found that 222 children aged one year have drowned over the past twenty years, equating to 40% of all child drowning under the age of five.
Most deaths in children aged one occurred in backyard swimming pools (51%) and during the summer months (38%).
Almost all of these deaths were due to a lack of active adult supervision.
For every toddler drowning death approximately eight children are admitted to hospital as a result of non-fatal drowning.
Royal Life Saving is asking all parents to Supervise, Restrict, Teach and Respond to keep their children safe around water. Because ‘Kids can’t help themselves around water, you need to. Keep Watch.’
When implemented together, these Keep Watch drowning prevention actions help to maximise child safety around water.
The Keep Watch program is proudly supported by the Australian Government.
Eyes on the prize
Prepare for the unexpected. Always Keep Watch.
Kids will be kids. And we love them all. Cute, funny, quiet, wild, angelic, studious, all of them with their own unique personalities, all of them unpredictable. One day the sidekick and the curious one the next, with everything in between. Which is why we love them even more!
But they have one thing in common: Kids can’t help themselves around water, you need to.
Keep Watch to keep your child safe around water.
Distractions are dangerous
Remain ever vigilant and always watching
Supervision is the single most important thing you can do to keep your children safe around water.
Any distraction is dangerous and puts young children at risk around water. Whether it is a phone or social media use, or carrying out everyday tasks, such as leaving a child unsupervised momentarily to cook, take the rubbish out or collect the washing, no task is worth your child’s life