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By Casey De Farria
Casey De Farria
29 Nov, 2021

Drowning prevention tips – one drowning is too many this Summer

Time to get into the great outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. Parks, beaches, pools, or even just the sprinkler in the backyard, water is an integral part of the quintessential Australian summer.

We must remain vigilant around water, especially when there are little ones around. This is particularly important right now after so many children have missed vital swimming lessons this year over lockdown. Many kids now don’t have the skills, confidence, or swimming ability.

Royal Life Saving Society and Surf Life Saving Australia data revealed 294 people died at waterways and beaches around the country in 2020/2021, compared to 245 in the previous 12 months.

Drowning in inland rivers and waterways increased by more than half, and the number of coastal drownings was higher than the 10-year trend.

“The fact that our drowning stats have gone up when we’ve not got the usual influx of international tourists and students, perhaps, who have either drowned or had to be rescued … makes these stats even more sobering.”

ABC News article – Lockdown link to 20 per cent spike in drownings, 150 per cent jump in rescues. Quote by Surf Life Saving Australia spokeswoman Donna Wishart.

But the threat of drowning isn’t limited to these bodies of water – drownings at home are a huge concern, both in pools and in water around the home.
We just can’t let our little ones out of our sight around water. It only takes 5cm of water and 20 seconds for a child to drown. Have you checked your home for water hazards?

Some things that you can do around your home to prevent drowning include:

  • Tip out inflatable pools after use.
  • Take the plug out of the bath as soon as the kids get out – and put it somewhere that they cannot reach.
  • Ensure pool fencing and gates are in good working order and meet all council requirements and Australian standards.
  • Go to the “Kids Alive: Do the Five” website and explore the resources for parents and teachers.
  • Enrol your kids in swimming lessons, and teach them rules around water.
  • Don’t rely on inflatable devices for safety.
  • NEVER take your eyes off them in or around water – even kids who can swim can drown.

There is much more that we can do as parents to prevent drowning, however, accidents can still happen. Learn CPR – knowing how to resuscitate is a skill that every parent needs to have.

References

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-08/20-percent-rise-in-drownings-at-australian-beaches-and-rivers/100441648

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