Be safe this long weekend
This summer has been horrific so far in terms of drowning statistics. 5 people drowned in less than 24 hours on New Year’s Day across Australia and 51 people drowned in the first 37 days of summer. At January 10, there have been 56 drowning deaths nationally since December 1st – more than 1 drowning per day – across a range of demographics, including children, teens and adults, both Australians and overseas tourists. This represents a 30% increase on drownings at the same last year.
Many of these deaths occurred in the ocean, but we have also seen incidents in rivers, lagoons and backyard pools during this time. It was especially heartbreaking to hear of a 2 year old girl lost in our local community.
It’s hard to read these statistics, and even harder to imagine what the families of the victims are going through, our thoughts and sympathies are with each and every one of them. It is important to understand that this terrible loss could happen to anyone. We must make sure that all layers of water safety are in place at all times – supervision, fencing the pool and shutting the gate, teaching children to swim from babies and learning CPR – as we are all human, and as such, one of the layers may fail from time to time. For adults, swimming alone, intoxication and lack of awareness of river and ocean currents also played a part in many of the deaths, so be aware of these risk factors, respect the water, and don’t take any chances, ever. It’s simply not worth it.
Accidental falls into water remain the leading activity prior to drowning among children under five, resulting in 78% of all drowning deaths in this age group last year. Please make your New Year’s resolution to carry out a water safety audit at home. Check pool gates and fences, get your children into swimming lessons asap and learn CPR. We are giving a free CPR course to the first 50 enrolments at reception from January 14th to encourage more people to learn this vital skill. If you are an adult who cannot swim – it’s never too late, we offer adult group and private learn to swim classes.
We still have very hot weather forecast for this long weekend, so please, stay safer.