Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is urging all parents and carers to watch children around water during this period of hot weather.
With temperatures in Melbourne forecast to remain in the high twenties and thirties for the remainder of the week, many families will head to Victoria’s waterways to cool off.
“Twenty seconds is all it takes for a child to drown,” says Kane Treloar, LSV’s acting operations manager.
“Further, for every toddler who drowns another ten are hospitalised, some left with permanent disabilities. It’s paramount to always supervise children closely around water, with children under five years of age within arms’ reach, and children under ten years of age within supervisor’s line of sight.”
“If you have a home swimming pool, make sure you restrict access to water, ensure your pool/spa fence is compliant, and never leave pool gates propped open.”
Officers from Victoria Police have received a number of reports of missing children on the beach in the past few weeks, with many children getting lost in large crowds and being at high risk near the water.
“If you are taking your children for a day at the beach, make sure you are properly prepared and aware,” says Mr Treloar.
“Rips are the number one beach hazard for swimmers. Learning how to identify and avoid a rip current is essential for beachgoers. You can learn about rips at www.beachsafe.org.au”
“It’s time now to draw the line. When you get to the beach, stop to check for rips, look for other dangers, and plan how to stay safe.”
“Consider whether you could rescue your child if they got into trouble, if not, don’t put them in danger – head to a patrolled location or pool with lifeguards instead.”
SLSA’s Think Line campaign:
Derek Wilson’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=219&v=OJhgXd_dPws
Rip safety videos on Surf Life Saving Australia’s Beachsafe website: