Did you know that drowning is one of the major causes of unintentional death for Australian children under 5 years of age?
Being around water is part of everyday life in Australia, whether it be at the beach, backyard pools or spas, rivers and creeks, public swimming pools or damns on farms.
To help keep children safe in and around the water there are 4 important steps you can follow - to ensure maximum safety, it's important that all of these steps are used together.
Active adult supervision of children is essential to reduce the risk of drowning. For toddlers, this means having an adult within arm's reach at all times when they are in or around water, while for older children it is important there is an adult within the water area who is ready to enter the water if there is an emergency.
It can be easy to assume that someone else is watching the children if there are a lot of people around. It's a good idea to have designated supervisors in and around water and share the role around.
2. Restrict Access
Restricting children's access to water can include placing a barrier around the body of water (e.g. a pool or spa barrier) or placing the barrier around a child's environment) e.g. creating a fenced safe play area on a farm that is away from water hazards like dams and animal drinking troughs).
Children are crafty and will try their best to find a way to get over, under or through barriers, so it's important to never rely on barriers on their own to keep children away from water.
3. Water Awareness
Water awareness and learn to swim classes can assist in helping children become familiar with water, teaching them about water safety and learning how to swim.
4. CPR / First Aid Knowledge
Having the skills to respond in an emergency situation can mean the difference between life and death.
Kidsafe Victoria encourages all parents and carers to enrol in a CPR/ First Aid course and to update their skills regularly. Hopefully they are skills that you will never have to use, however undertaking a course will assist in ensuring you are equipped to respond if an emergency does arise.
It is also a good idea to place a CPR chart in your pool or spa area for easy reference.