Let’s make Spring Safer!
With the warmer weather on its way, it’s time to talk about safety. Safer Swimming is really at the heart of everything that we do. Even 1 unnecessary drowning death is 1 too many. With drownings still happening every summer, especially in NSW, across a range of ages, genders, backgrounds and circumstances, we need to act as a community to get everyone swimming as soon as possible, and well before summer.
This year’s National Drowning Report will be published by Royal Life Saving Australia later this month. Every year it’s so hard to read the statistics around drowning, and even harder to imagine what the families of the victims are still going through. Every single one of these drownings is a tragedy that affects the family, friends and community forever. 291 people drowned in 2016/17. Why does it continue to happen? In many cases, the water safety layers of protection were simply not in place – supervision, fencing the pool and shutting the gate, teaching children to swim from babies and being prepared for an emergency. That moment of inattention while you should be watching the kids in the pool, the brain snap where you leave your child unsupervised in the bath, the assumption that someone else is watching the kids, or the bucket of water for the dog that will fascinate your toddler. Swimming alone, intoxication and lack of awareness of river and ocean currents also played a part in many of the drowning deaths of adults.
What can you do to minimise the risk? There are lots of messages and slogans but really it’s very simple. Get your child into swimming lessons. Make sure all the pool barriers are secure. Always supervise your children and don’t get distracted. Remove any standing water that could possibly be an attraction. Do you know of children that can’t swim in your circle of friends or family? Please encourage the parents to do something about it, whether they live near or far. Can you swim? We run adult private and group lessons too.
Education about water safety is key. Did you know we conduct free Water Safety Visits in primary schools, preschools and childcare centres, where we share water safety messages through stories, songs and fun? If you would like our water safety educator and mascot Paddles the Platypus to visit your school or centre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – or visit our website for more details.
Let’s work together over the coming months to take responsibility for the safety of ourselves and our families in every aquatic environment this summer.