Drowning is one of the most common causes of unintentional death in Australia in children aged 4 years and under, children 1-3 years are the most vulnerable. Children, especially toddlers, seem to be drawn to water whether it is in the bath, the toilet, buckets, swimming pools, puddles, dams etc. Whilst children may drown in a variety of these water environments, the backyard swimming pool remains the most dangerous water environment for young children.
A child can drown silently in as little as 5 cm of water in less than 2 minutes. Children and water, without adult supervision do not mix. Follow our 4 simple steps to ensure your child is safe around water.
Supervise: Keep a close watch on your child when they are in or around water, this is the most effective way to prevent drowning.Children under 5 years old should be within arm's reach.
Eliminate hazards: where possible, eliminate the hazards, if there is no water there is no risk! For example, empty buckets and baths when not in use.
Environmental Measures: Fence it in - all pools must have suitable safety barriers to restrict access by young children to the immediate pool surrounds, constructed in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1926.1. Block pool and spa access with a safety cover when not in use.
Education and Skill Development: Teach children to swim and make sure you learn resuscitation - the first few minutes in an emergency can make the difference between life and death.
CPR posters and first aid training are available from your local:
Royal Life Saving Society http://www.royallifesaving.com.au
St John Ambulance www.stjohnsa.com.au
Surf Life Saving Association www.surflifesavingsa.com.au/
Red Cross http://www.redcross.org.au/firstaid
For further information Click Here to download or print our 'Prevention of Childhood Drowning' information sheet.
Royal Life Saving with Australian Competition Consumer Commission have realised this great video on portable pool for parents and carers. Remember a child can drown in as little as 5cm of water in as little as 30 seconds.