V Thoughts from Sunny u
It’s summer and it’s hot. The kids are keen to cool off – they want to go now! Whether it’s to get into a private or community pool, ocean, river, creek or dam, DON’T let them out of your sight!
It can happen to anyone. A simple distraction and in just a few moments a child drowns – and it can happen in only a few centimetres of water.
Most parents and carers think they’ll hear if a child is drowning. It isn’t true. Drowning is very quick and silent. No splashing, no bubbles, no sound.
At home the swimming pool is where the majority of children younger than five drown. Other places are baths, spas, garden ponds, water features and buckets. Outside the home, children can drown in dams, rivers, creeks, at beaches and other sources of water.
Please supervise closely and constantly all children in and around water. Often it’s an everyday task like caring for another child, getting a towel or using a mobile phone that can distract us from supervising properly. As designated supervisor you are responsible. Never take your eyes off them.
Taking part in swimming lessons or water familiarisation sessions is important, but won’t prevent drowning. A Kids Health study has revealed that half the children under five who had a non-fatal drowning incident had participated in such activities.
If you look after children, please learn CPR and first aid, so you can save a life, or prevent long term brain damage and other problems if the worst happens. Refresh your skills regularly. Remember you can do free online CPR and first aid training at kidshealth.org.au/cpr.
- Supervise - Without distraction and be close to children at all times when they’re in or around water.
- Restrict Access – Make sure your pool fence and gate is working properly and ensure there’s nothing nearby for children to climb. Never ever leave the gate open. Empty buckets, inflatable pools and other sources of water after use.
- Teach Water Awareness – Familiarise children with water and teach them to swim, but don’t rely on lessons to keep them safe.
- Learn How to Resuscitate - Learn (CPR) in case of an emergency. Remember any attempt is better than no attempt.