With the warmer weather knocking on the door now is the time to look at your child’s water safety for summer.
According to Royal Life Saving Australia, the risk of drowning triples when a child turns one. Research has also shown that over the past 17 years 496 children aged 0 – 4 have drowned Australia wide, and of these children 41% (202 children) were aged one. Statistics also show that 44% of deaths happen during the summer months.
That’s why it is so crucial to take preventative measures to ensure that your child is safe around water as soon as possible.
If there is any water nearby make sure your attention is on your child. That means ponds, the ocean, pools and even the bath. If you’re swimming with younger children they need to be within arms’ reach, while with older children you need to be able to reach the water in the case of an emergency.
Take preventative measures by enrolling your child in learn to swim lessons. There is no right time to begin lessons, but the sooner the better. Most swim schools will start teaching children at six months of age, however you can always begin taking them for swims earlier than this so that they begin to accept and respect water. Royal Life Saving Australia has an endorsed swim school finder, and also has information on VacSwim for children aged five and older.
For parents it’s important to learn first aid. This is really important not just for swimming, but for any other accidents or emergencies. Parents can take a started course in first aid through Royal Life Saving Australia’s Heart Beat Club which Meerilinga does run in centres throughout the year. You can check to see when the next course is scheduled by checking out the events section of the website.
Safety Measures around Water
Children are attracted to water. It’s fun. It’s shimmery. It has endless possibilities. That’s why taking extra precautions around water is really important. Make sure your pool fence meets safety standards. Install a safety gate or shut bathroom doors. Ensure that ponds are either safely covered or behind fencing.
Keep Watch this summer, and keep your children safe.