Water Safety and how to protect your children

Laura Furiosi   >  11 June 2018

FRIGHTENING STATISTICS

According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report of 2017 (royallifesaving.com.au) 291 people drowned in Australia waterways. That is an increase from 282 from last year and 266 from the year before.

The top 3 drowning locations were rivers, beaches and ocean harbours. 25% of the drownings were from swimming and water recreation, 16% were because of falls into the water and 13% were from boating.

More worrying than that, there were an estimated 685 non fatal drowning incidents resulting in hospitalisation in 2016/2017. 

Children drownings alone have increased by 32%. Falls into water account for the most drowning deaths for children under 5. 

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

The question is, what can we as parents do about it, to help reduce this risk for our own children?

There is a wonderful blog by Mom Loves Best which you can read here - . https://momlovesbest.com/health/swimming that details many many ways that we can help make sure our children and others around them do not become part of those numbers.

1. Firstly you must at home make sure your pool or other water access points are CHILDPROOF

  • replace, tighten or adjust the hinges on your gates

  • make sure the pool safety barrier height is at least 1200mm from bottom to top

  • trim back any vegetation or branches that a child could use to climb over the pool safety barrier

  • shield or remove climbable objects within 900mm of the pool safety barrier

  • install fixed security screens on windows that open into the pool enclosure

  • remove climbable objects from the pool safety barrier and surrounding http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/construction/buildingplumbing/poolsafety/poolfencessafetybarriers/pages/default.aspx

2. Know CPR

  • You can do a CPR course to learn how to resussitate in case of emergency. The best ones are usually found run by St Johns in QLD, but check with your local area to find a course near you. It could help you save a life, if not your own childs. 

https://www.stjohnqld.com.au/

3. Be aware of where your child is at all times

  • Kids are so excited about being at the beach or near water they may not always be thinking about their own safety. 

  • You need to know where your child is at all times. 

  • You need to be within arms reach to assist them if they get stuck, caught or go under. 

  • If supervising a bunch of kids, make sure there is one designated parent who is in charge of watching. Sometimes parents all assume someone else is watching and this is when trouble can occur. 

4. Get them swimming lessons

  • In places like Australia where there is a pool in most backyards and beaches everywhere, it is so important that your child knows how to swim.

  • Alot of learn to swim schools teach the basics of water survival to babies and toddlers to start. 

  • Make sure they know how to fall in and hold on to the side and call for help

  • Make sure they learn how to float and get back to the pool steps or edge. 

  • Check that your swim school is accredited by the right authorities.

Check out http://www.swimaustralia.org.au/ to find the best swim school near you.