Letters

Watch your child around water

Ed,
We write to remind readers that it literally only takes seconds for a child to drown.
The hotter weather is with us and we ask all readers to take the greatest of care when children are in or around water.
Our key message is that you must give ALL of your attention ALL of the time.
Children under 5 are the age group most at risk of drowning. Last year 14 children in Australia under 5 drowned in a backyard pool.
Between 2002 and 2015, 128 children under 5 drowned in NSW and 65% of those deaths happened in a private swimming pool. In 59% of the cases, supervision was completely absent.
So you have to be close to children all of the time. A supervised child is not going to drown. If young children are left alone temporarily, sadly this opens up massive dangers.
We ask readers to make sure they are prepared for any swimming experience. Always be close and within arm’s reach of a child. Focus all of your attention on your child. Watch, talk and play with them when they are in the water.
And watch all of the time. Never leave a child alone in water – or in the care of another child.
The reality is people answer doors, take a phone call, prepare food or get distracted – and that is when the most danger comes.
For further information, readers should visit keepwatch.com.au or go to #keepwatch.
David Macallister,
CEO, Royal Life Saving New South Wales

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