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%)
280 PEOPLE DROWNED IN AUSTRALIAN WATERWAYS BETWEEN 1 JULY 2015 AND 30 JUNE 2016
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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