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. 29 children under 5 years of age drowned last year. This has increased by 4% against the 10 year average. Half of these children died in a backyard swimming pool. This is a tragedy.
We cannot forget about other areas of water too – last year a 75% increase was recorded in the number of children under 5 years drowning in spas and bath tubs.
But what about the other children who survived? For every person who drowned is Australia, nearly 3 more were hospitalised with non-fatal but serious injuries. These injuries include life-changing disabilities including brain damage.
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 if the bath as soon as the kids get out of the bath
- 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. You MUST learn CPR – knowing how to resuscitate is a skill that every parent must have.