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
2. 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
Providing first aid increases the chance of recovery