HOW TO: Keep Your Kids safe around water.
“WATER, IT’S ONLY SAFE WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING”
According to research by Royal Lifesaving Australia 461 children under the age of five died due to drowning in Australia over the past 15 years (Between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2017), an average of 31 per year. Of these, half were in home pools and spas. Active adult supervision had either lapsed or was entirely absent in all cases which means that 100% of the time it could have been prevented by ensuring correct supervision of the children.
(Visit www.keepwatch.com.au for more information and resources.)
Drowning is a silent killer and something that absolutely scares the life out of me as a parent of a little girl who is water obsessed. Having her in lessons since four months old has helped her confidence and water safety but it is never enough to make sure we are not 100% watching her at all times around water.
If you have been following me for a while you would know that my husband is an owner of swim schools and has been in the industry for over 20 years which is part of the reason why we are so passionate about keeping children safe around water and teaching both kids and their parents about the dangers that can come with pools, the beach, baths, dams, creeks or any other body of water.
When Royal Lifesaving contacted me to collaborate on this blog I jumped at the opportunity as I think it’s a topic that is truly important but not so often talked about on social media.
In this article I am going to share with you tips on keeping your children safe and how you can stay vigilant to ensure your kids don’t become victim to the silent killer which is water.
TIPS ON KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE AROUND WATER:
- The most obvious one is that YOU MUST keep an eye on children in any body of water at all times. It’s easy to get distracted by phones, other kids, conversation or thinking it will be ok just to run and grab something quickly but it can be deadly. If the kids are swimming in the pool or even in the bath and something needs your attention immediately get the children out of and safely away from the water until 100% of your focus can be on them again.
Watch this video for an example of how easy it is to become distracted.
- Phones are one of the biggest distractions so when you’re around water as the only supervisor I would suggest to leave the phone behind or out of reach to ensure you cannot be distracted by it.
- Keep young children and toddlers at an arm’s reach at ALL TIMES in water.
- Have your pool fences and gates checked and maintained regularly. This is so important to remember when you have young children. Many lives could have been saved if simple checks were done on back yard pools.
- Be prepared when going swimming with all your items towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, toys to ensure you don’t need to go grab anything else.
- Don’t leave young children under the supervision of older children or siblings – KEEP WATCH at all times.
- Never prop the pool fence open for any reason. It’s too easy to forget to close it which could end it tragedy.
- In case of emergency ensure your CPR training is up to date, it could save the life of your children and the children of others.
- Get your children comfortable with the water so that they are not afraid of it but ensure you speak to them often about the dangers of water and swimming without an adult/Mummy/Daddy around.
- DO NOT depend on floaties or floating pool objects to keep your children safe – you must maintain supervision and have young children, toddlers or babies at an arm’s reach.
- Swimming lessons are super important to help your children have water awareness and confidence and one day even skills that can save their life but it is never a substitute or reason to let your supervision lapse.
- Keep between the flags at patrolled beach. Obvious but something so many ignore. If you’re outside the flags the life guards may not be able to see you and you are putting yourself and family in danger.
- Remember children can drown in baths too. Stay vigilant with your supervision of young children in the bath.
- Be realistic with how many children you can safely supervise at once. If required ensure there are more adults to help you keep watch.
- Lastly, enjoy the water and have fun with your kiddies because it is an Aussie tradition but just remember “water, it’s only safe when you’re watching.”
I hope this little article has given you some helpful advice or reminded you just how important it is to keep watch at all times.
This blog was written in collaboration with Royal Life Saving Australia but reflects my honest thoughts and beliefs as a parent. Visit www.keepwatch.com.au for more information and resources.