Letters

Check your pool fence

Ed,

Royal Life Saving is asking all Australians with swimming pools to use the weeks before summer to check their pool fencing to protect young children from drowning.

In the past decade, more than half of all children aged 0-4 who drowned in Australia lost their lives in a backyard swimming pool. Children who drowned often gained access to the pool area through a fence or gate which had fallen into disrepair or a gate which had been deliberately propped open.

We know families are under a lot of pressure with lockdowns in place in many parts of Australia. The demands of constant supervision are exhausting. But close supervision is the best way to protect a child from drowning.

Our research shows any distractions, such as using mobile phones or doing household chores, while children are near water increases their risk of drowning.

A pool fence in good repair can give you precious minutes when a determined toddler unexpectedly wanders off towards the pool.

Almost 40% of child drowning happens over the summer months which is why now is the time to get your backyard swimming pool prepared.

Adults can access a free home pool safety checklist to make sure their pool area is safe and secure at www.royallifesaving.com.au/stay-safe-active/locations/water-safety-at-home

We want all Australians to have fun in the water and stay safe this summer. Please take the time to do a backyard pool safety check – your actions today could save a child’s life.

Justin Scarr, CEO, Royal Life Saving

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