Royal Life Saving is urging parents and carers to Keep Watch of children around water no matter what.
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.
Keep Watch aims to prevent drowning deaths of children under five years of age in all aquatic locations
For over 20 years Keep Watch has been educating 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. Between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2017, 461 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia. Of these, 231 (50%) occurred in home swimming pools (including backyard swimming pools, portable pools and outdoor spas).
In 100% of child drowning cases in home swimming pools, active adult supervision had either lapsed or was entirely absent.
For every toddler drowning death approximately ten children are admitted to hospital as a result of non-fatal drowning.
The Keep Watch program has four key drowning prevention actions: Supervise, Restrict Access, Water Awareness and Resuscitate.These should not be used individually but together to maximise child safety – if one line of defence fails, the other prevention measures will be actively working to prevent child drowning.
WATER. IT'S ONLY SAFE WHILE YOU'RE WATCHING. KEEP WATCH
Keep Watch Actions
POOL FENCING AND GATES
Regularly check your pool fence and gate, and never prop the pool gate open,
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.