A spate of recent drowning deaths in NSW has prompted an urgent holiday reminder to families about the importance of supervising children in the water at all times, regardless of whether they are wearing
Caitlin Chellew, Health Promotion Manager, Royal Life Saving Society NSW said many parents wrongly believed flotation devices would protect their children from the risk of drowning.
“No flotation device is infallible in all circumstances and even if they are correctly fitted, children need to be supervised at all times when they are in, on or around water,” Ms Chellew said.
“Sadly we hear far too often around Australia that families were gathered around the pool yet no one saw or heard anything when the child got into difficulty in the water. Especially in the hot weather children are going to be drawn to water and many families end up socialising around the pool. Most parents assume because they are close by they would hear something that would draw their attention in time to help the child. There is a general lack of awareness that children drown silently and rapidly.”
Ms Chellew added, “In younger children, death can occur as a result of less than a minute of being submerged in water. That’s why active supervision is vital. If you are at a BBQ around the pool make sure at all times there is a designated adult in charge of watching the children.”
There are four key rules parents can use to help keep their child safe:
1. Supervise your child
2. Provide barriers to water locations
3. Familiarise your child with water
4. Learn resuscitation
For further information visit the website at www.royallifesaving.com.au
Source: Royal Life Saving Society NSW