Spring into planning for a water safe summer

MEDIA RELEASE - 1 September 2022

Royal Life Saving - Water Safe Summer

Spring marks the start of the swimming and water recreation seasons so Royal Life Saving Society – Australia is urging everyone, especially parents, to plan ahead to ensure a water safe summer.

Families can get ready for summer by focusing on backyard pool safety and swimming skills for children.

Check your pool fence, and gate. Keep Watch ahead of summer

Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Officer Justin Scarr said all owners of backyard pools should check their pool fences and pool gates as a matter of urgency.

“While active supervision is the best protection against childhood drowning, no parent or caregiver can watch a young child 24 hours a day,” Mr Scarr said.

“Backyard swimming pools offer fantastic fun for families over spring and into summer, but they can pose a serious threat to young children, especially toddlers.

“Check that no fence posts have come loose from the ground due to bad weather or age. Make sure the gate is still self-closing and self-latching. A reminder that even portable pools require fencing or be emptied when not in use. It is also a good time to refresh your CPR awareness ahead of summer.”

Enrol in swimming lessons ahead of summer

Royal Life Saving is urging parents to assess their children’s swimming skills ahead of summer. If they skipped or dropped out of swimming lessons due to the pandemic, now is the time to look at re-enrolling or taking them to the local pool to rebuild their swimming skills and fitness, and water safety awareness.

“Getting back into swimming lessons is essential for children, especially for children aged seven to 12 years old who were most likely to have missed lessons due to pool closures during the pandemic,” Mr Scarr said.

“Strengthening their swimming skills before they become teenagers is critical to their long-term safety around the water. Life is better and safer when we swim, and it is so important that no-one misses out.

“Contact your local swim school and enquire about regular or holiday program availability to see if you can squeeze in some swimming and water safety lessons ahead of summer.

“If you can’t find lessons, spending lots of time refreshing your child’s skills at the local pool is the safest way to re-introduce them to swimming, and to practice their skills ahead of summer.”

General water safety advice

Royal Life Saving’s top five water safety tips to enjoy the water safely year-round.

  • Always supervise children around water
  • Avoid alcohol around water
  • Wear a lifejacket when boating and fishing
  • Avoid going alone
  • Know the conditions

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