With summer approaching, Kidsafe’s annual ‘Safe Barriers Saves Lives’ campaign, which calls on pool and spa owners to check the safety of their barriers, has been launched and this year’s key message is ‘the best offence is a good defence’.
Olympic swimmer Matt Welsh is the campaign ambassador and is helping raise awareness about alarming statistics that show toddler drowning deaths increased in the last financial year compared to the previous year, and the majority of these drowning deaths have occurred in backyard swimming pools.
Statistics from the 2019 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report show that accidental falls into water remain the leading activity prior to drowning in children aged 0-4 years, accounting for 84 per cent of all drowning deaths.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under five years of age, and while safety barriers can be effective in reducing the risk of drowning incidents, evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty, or non-compliant with Australian standards.
Portable, inflatable and wading pools also pose a significant drowning risk, and as part of Kidsafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign, parents are urged to follow four simple safety tips:
- Supervise – Once the pool has water in it, you need to actively watch any child, within arm’s reach at all times, so you can prevent anything from going wrong. It’s too much responsibility to leave older children in charge of younger kids, and they may not recognise the signs of a drowning.
- Act– Learn what to do in the event of a child drowning incident. You’ll need to know how to carry out CPR, and it’s important to start compressions and breaths right away when a child is pulled from the water and to call Triple Zero (000) so help is on the way. If possible, shout for someone to call Triple Zero (000) while you continue CPR.
- Fence– In most parts of Australia, if a pool has more than 30cm of water in it, there’s a legal requirement for it to be fenced. You need to check with your local council or government agency for safety barrier rules.
- Empty– Pour out the water, deflate the portable pool and store it away safely out of reach of children when not in use.
LSV is a proud campaign partner and will be sharing a range of information right across summer, including how to actively supervise children around water, the importance of first aid, the benefits of swimming lessons, and particular things to check with pool barriers.
For further information about Kidsafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign visit: https://kidsafe.com.au/