This post is a collaboration with Royal Life Saving Australia
As the weather warms up, Royal Life Saving is urging parents to be vigilant about their child’s safety around water. I was shocked to read data published by Royal Life Saving stating that 41% of drowning deaths among children under five in Australia occur in one-year-old toddlers.
Tragically, research figures show that 496 children aged 0 to 4 years have drowned in the last 17 years. To put that in perspective of a lifespan from 0 to 100 years, with 202 (41%) children aged one-year having drowned, no other age group is at greater risk of drowning.
Most deaths in children aged one occurred in backyard swimming pools (59%) and during the summer months (44%). Accidental falls into water was the leading activity prior to drowning in this age group; accounting for 88% of all deaths. Almost all of these deaths were due to a lack of active adult supervision. The drowning risk triples when children turn one.
Here are 5 ways you can keep your children safe around water!
Always supervise and keep children within an arm’s reach
You should always have children within an arm’s reach when they are in the water. A lot of people are shocked to find out that drowning in children is silent and can occur quickly without any warning signs.
Teach your children water safety skills
Enrol your children from a young age in swimming lessons. Swimming lessons are a great way for children to learn water safety skills and confidence in the water. My children started swimming lessons around 9 months old and are still doing lessons at 8 and 6 years old.
Learn how to resuscitate
Would you know what to do if your child stopped breathing? Learning CPR is an essential skill to learn in an emergency, especially if you have children. You can find a variety of courses available in your local area and online. Royal Life Saving offers courses visit: www.royallifesaving.com.au
Restrict children’s access to water
Secure pool fences and make sure children can’t access the pool when the gate is closed by climbing over or using chairs. Never prop open a pool safety gate at any time. I know it may seem convenient, but this gives children complete access to a pool which poses a huge risk of drowning. Ensure you empty bathtubs or anything that holds water such as buckets, eskies, fishponds and inflatable pools.
Remove all distractions
Even if your children can swim, it’s very important to supervise your children at all times. Accidents can easily occur and an adult should always be supervising in the pool area when children are swimming or around water. Leave your mobile phone inside and put away the book you might be reading.
For more information on the Keep Watch program, head to the Royal Life Saving Australia website here! Stay safe this summer.