Summer is here and its time to enjoy the beautiful Australian weather as we do best, swimming at the beach or in our pools. But there is a serious side to this … Drowning is one of the most common causes of unintentional death in Australian children aged between 0-4 years, with children aged between 0–2 years being the most vulnerable. Australia has the second worst record in the world for preventable toddler drowning. Being vigilant with your children near pools or at the beach is paramount.
There are 5 ways to help prevent young children drowning in backyard pools.
- Fence the Pool
- Always keep your pool fence well maintained
- The fence is only as good as it’s weakest point
- Don’t leave objects leaning against the fence – it could be used to help children climb over
- Pool owners that do not comply with legislation can be issued with heavy fines
- Shut the Gate
- Ensure your gate is self-closing
- Regularly check your latch to make sure it isn’t faulty
- Never prop or leave gates open
- Ensure doors leading out to pool or other water areas are locked
- Learn to Swim
Learning to swim has many benefits for our children. It’s great for their health and well being, it enhances their self-esteem and importantly teaches them a respect for water. While children are capable of being independently mobile in the water from a very young age, they must never be left unsupervised. No child is drown-proof.
- All adults are responsible for supervision
- Supervising adults should not be drinking alcohol
- Floatation devices do not replace adult supervision
- Older siblings should not supervise other children
- Learn to Resuscitate
- Anyone can be affected by a drowning or near drowning experience
- Learn resuscitation
Providing first aid increases the chance of recovery