Online Learning Modules for Watch Around Water Launched
LSV is proud to announce the launch of two interactive online learning modules as a part of the continual evolution and improvement of the highly successful water safety campaign: Watch Around Water.
There are two modules available:
- A staff and Management module for training Aquatic Facility Staff in Accredited Watch Around Water facilities; and
- A free module for Parents / Guardians of children visiting aquatic environments. The parents / guardians module will be freely and openly available for any and all persons on LSV’s website here: waw.lsv-from-anywhere.com.au/online-learning/parents
What is Watch Around Water and Why is it so Important?
Watch Around Water is an awareness campaign educating the public about the importance of active supervision of children around water and encourages parents / guardians to take on the responsibility of this role while visiting aquatic facilities.
Between 2002 and 2015 – 230 drowning incidents of persons 10 years and under occurred in Australian Public Aquatic Facilities. Coroner’s recommendations have recommended facilities implement a broad-ranging program to address child supervision in public pools. The new Supervision Section of the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations (GSPO) also recommends a child supervision program is in place at all pools.
In 2011, Life Saving Victoria introduced the Watch Around Water program, following its success in Western Australia. The program provides facility staff will the skills, knowledge, techniques and resources to influence parent behaviour to improve the safety of the children in their care. Although LSV are responsible for the delivery of the program and the accreditation process, the program has oversight from an industry steering committee- the Watch Around Water Advisory Committee.
Even with the success of the program to date, in the last 12 months there were 25 non-fatal drownings in public pools within Victoria, 68% of whom were in the 0-14-year age group. Sadly, this is 10 more than the five-year average of 15 and 68% were in the 0-14-year age group. These non-fatal drownings often have tragic consequences ans can include permanent injuries.
Who is currently Watch Around Water Accredited?
The Watch Around Water program is current in place in 195 Victorian public pools. There has not been a fatal drowning of a child in a Watch Around Water accredited facility to date making this program extremely successful. It also aligns and complies with the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations and assists pool operators with both the creating of a safety culture and compliance against industry guidelines.
Where can I find the online learning modules?
The Staff and Management module is available in the Watch Around Water Member Resource portal on the LSV website: http://waw.lsv-from-anywhere.com.au/login
The Parent / Guardian FREE Module is available here: http://bit.ly/WAWonlineparents
Further information for facility managers:
How can my facility become accredited?
How will Watch Around Water benefit our facility?
WAW shifts the responsibility for child supervision from solely on aquatic facility staff (lifeguards) to a partnership between lifeguards and parents / guardians. Parents / guardians are uniquely positioned to be aware of their own child’s limitations and challenges whereas lifeguards are responsible for up to 100 patrons at a time. It is impossible for lifeguards to provide 1:1 supervision for every child. Empowering your staff with key messages and policies that are consistent with nearly 200 other pools in the state assists with driving consumer behaviour and instilling a safety culture in aquatic centre users and staff.
How should facilities use these online learning resources?
LSV recommends that an incentive program is put in place to encourage parents to complete the module. Each module allows the user to print off a certificate of completion. Remember – the more parents do the module, the safer your pool is. Staff should be required to do the module as part of induction and/or ongoing in-service training.
How do I train the staff team to educate the public about Watch Around Water?
Endorsed facilities are provided with access to a member portal which includes:
- Interactive online learning module
- Staff and management training manual
- Training PowerPoint
- Display materials
- Audible announcements
- Children’s colouring-in resources
- Lifeguard cards
- Administration resources
Remember, the program provides facility staff will the skills, knowledge, techniques and resources to influence parent behaviour to improve the safety of the children in their care.
If you are in charge of water safety at a public aquatic facility and would like to discuss the program further, please contact us on 03 9676 6985 or email firstname.lastname@example.org