Kidsafe Victoria has issued a warning to parents over the high level of drowning risk to toddlers in homes storing water in buckets or wheelie bins.
The warning comes following the near drowning of a four year old boy after he fell head first into a wheelie bin in the Melbourne suburb of Fawkner. The boy was turning purple when he was found face down in the wheelie bin just after 1pm on Thursday. The bin had enough water in it to submerge the boy’s head.
Dr Mark Stokes, President of Kidsafe Victoria said yesterday, ”With governments and water authorities all over Victoria urging the community to collect water in buckets from the shower or in wheelie bins, parents need to be alert to the drowning dangers of storing water”.
“There are millions of buckets of water being stored in homes every day in Victoria with each bucket representing a potential drowning situation or near drowning which can leave children with severe brain damage. Many parents are unaware of the risk with the main focus being on saving water.”
Dr Stokes said that with the ongoing water restrictions in Melbourne people are finding all sorts of ways to store and move water including buckets and wheelie bins which are particularly dangerous when filled with water.
“If a child climbed and fell into a wheelie bin head first the shape of the bin and its depth would mean the child’s body would remain head down. With people wanting to collect water over sized buckets such as nappy buckets has become popular, and without a lid these buckets are a major risk.”
Kidsafe Victoria is urging parents across Victoria to immediately assess how they are storing water, and to remove drowning hazards such as buckets of water.
“Isolate the buckets of water from your children or empty buckets immediately to protect children is our clear and simple life saving message. Parents who are visiting with toddlers should also carry out a check to see if any buckets of water are stored in the home they are visiting.”
For more information visit the website www.kidsafevic.com.au
Source: Kidsafe Victoria