Queensland Ambulance Service beg parents to look out for their children around water.

On Wednesday and Thursday two children, both aged 6, nearly drowned in resort pools on the coast, while a 10-year-old had to be rescued and revived by surf lifesavers at a beach earlier in the week, reports 9 news.

QAS Senior Operations Supervisor Justin Payne said the incidents highlighted the importance of supervising young children when they were in the water, as Queensland headed into the warmer part of the year.

“Many people might think they would hear their child get into trouble in the backyard pool, but small children often make no sound at all when drowning,” Mr Payne said.

“It is a silent killer and can happen in seconds; it’s a heartbreaking experience for families,” he said.

He said simple things like removing objects from around the pool fence can help improve safety at private pools, but parents shouldn’t relax at public pools because there was a lifeguard on duty.

“Lifeguards do a great job but this should not stop adults and parents supervising. It only takes a few seconds for a child to go under and potentially not be seen.”



The statistics are horrifying

The 2016 drowning report from Royal Life Saving found between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2015, 83 drowning deaths in private pools were recorded.

The key findings related to appropriate supervision, pool fencing and emergency care.

• Supervision was completely absent in 59% of cases, with older siblings or other children left to supervise younger children in 6% of cases
• Among cases where it was known how long a child was left unsupervised for, 33% of children were left unattended for 5-10 minutes and 30% were left unattended for 3-5 minutes

• Among cases with information on fencing available, fencing was present in 27% of cases, absent in 27% of cases and faulty in 35% of cases
• Among cases with available information, children most commonly gained access to the pool through a faulty fence or gate (38%), lack of a fence (31%) or a gate which was propped open (18%)


Kidsafe Victoria’s pool safety tips:
•Never take your eyes off children around water; if you have to leave the water area for any reason, take the children with you.
•Appoint an adult as a designated supervisor, including at BBQ’s and pool parties. Never leave toddlers in the care of older children.
•When you are supervising toddlers, ensure that you are within arms’ reach at all times.
•Ensure that your pool safety barrier is secure and in proper working order.
•Never prop the pool gate open, this allows children easy and often unsupervised access to the pool area.
•Learn CPR and update your skills regularly. Resuscitation posters kept near pools are a good reminder.

A QLD mum shared a shocking video this week advising parents of the dangers around pools “The message that I’m trying to send is having a pool fence doesn’t automatically mean your kids are safe,” she said.

Please share to remind as many people as possible and stay safe this Summer!

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  • yeah supervision is a must! teaching kids to swim is also vital


  • My daughter went under so quickly at a community pool. If I hadn’t had my eyes constantly on her I wouldn’t have even known, it was very quiet.


  • Even though my kids are good swimmers I am constantly on alert when around water, it can just be unpredictable


  • Totally agree, you can’t let small children out of your sight around water.


  • We have a pool. My daughter is never in it without one of her parents. If we get out, then she gets out. That’s our rules


  • It is hard, but so vital to stay alert.


  • What is upsetting is that drowning is preventable. Never take your eye of your children around water, nothing is more important then their life.


  • My 4 year old nephew drowned 3 years ago. He was a year older than my son. You never get over that. Be vigilant, always.


  • We had an incident with one of my children when he was in his teens. At the beach and he got caught in a rip and nearly drown. We were so lucky to get to him in time could have been far worse. What made it so scary was he his an excellent, strong swimmer. Had lessons since he was little, won loads of swimming awards, we use to say he was “like a fish” he swam so well.
    Now if he could get into trouble just thinking how easy it would be for a smaller child, makes all of us in the family extra vigilant when we are anywhere around water now.


  • A very scary thought and good reminder on water safety importance.


  • We don’t have a pool or have any friends with pools but we are still teaching our baby water safety. So important in Australia – especially here in QLD. She started swimming lessons at 6 months old. Plus it teaches them much more than water safety.


  • I can’t understand why people don’t watch their kids around water.


  • These statistics are horrifying ! Glad not to have a pool. I wouldn’t be able to fully supervise 6 kids.


  • OH SO TRUE …Thanks for the great article …the stats really are worrying.


  • When will parents heed this warnings? You can never leave children unsupervised around water. This also means you cannot sit there answering tests or SMS on your phone either.


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