- December 28, 2018
- Posted by: Sage Shield Safety Consultants
- Category: Overseas Occupational Health And Safety News
Hunter Valley Police District urges residents to be mindful of water safety over school holiday period
HUNTER Valley Police District is urging residents to be mindful of water safety, especially over the school holiday period.
While their important message focuses on children and swimming pools in the region, it also takes in smaller toddler pools and dams on rural properties, particularly due to the recent wet weather.
“A lot of us have kids and it breaks our heart when we see families grieving for a child who has just drowned,” Acting Superintendent Jo Schultz said.
“But, sadly, over the summer months emergency services receive an increase in calls to children drowning, as well as near-drownings in backyard pools and dams.
“Unfortunately, police find that many of these tragedies could have been prevented by heeding safety messages.
“So, if you’re a parent or carer, watch your children.
“Don’t get distracted socialising with family and friends, or playing on your phone, while your kids play outside.
“Never assume someone is watching them.
“If you are having a party, delegate an adult who is not drinking to supervise the children in the water.”
Acting Superintendent Schultz said “just because your child can swim didn’t mean they couldn’t drown”.
“We know there are many residents, within the Hunter Valley Police District, who may not have a permanent pool,” she explained.
“They’ve got a portable pool, water trough, dam, water tank, creek or river on – or near – a property or on a friend or relative’s property.
“The recent rain has filled dams and creeks that were dry only a few weeks ago.
“It can certainly make things unpredictable, even for an experienced swimmer.
“We can’t stress that enough.
“And, due to their age, toddlers are most at risk of drowning.
“These incidents are distressing for everyone involved, particularly family members.”
Acting Superintendent Schultz admitted there were preventative measures adults could take to lessen any tragedy.
“Ensure pool gates and fences work properly, are self-closing and self-latching,” she said.
“Families are also encouraged to talk to their children about water awareness and train them in safety in and around pools and dams.
“It is important that one member is trained in first aid and can perform CPR if the need arises.”
Key messages for child pool safety
* Over the summer months, emergency services receive an increase in calls to children drowning, and near-drownings, in backyard swimming pools;
* Due to their age, toddlers are most at risk of drowning in swimming pools and account for a large portion of drowning deaths;
* The majority of deaths of toddlers occur in private backyard swimming pools;
* These incidents are distressing for everyone involved, particularly family members and, unfortunately, police find that many of these tragedies could have been prevented by heeding safety messages;
* Whether at home of visiting friends and family over the holiday period, it is always important to keep safety in mind when children are in or near the water;
* With the school holidays upon us, it’s a timely reminder that adult supervision of children in swimming pools is vital at all times;
* Children should never have access to a swimming pool without adult supervision;
* Ensure that pool gates and fences are secure, self-closing, self-latching and out of reach of the children;
* Families are encouraged to talk to their children about water awareness and train them in safety in and around pools;
* It’s important that a member in every family is trained in first aid and can perform CPR if the need arises;
* CPR and first aid are vital skills to avoiding drowning deaths; and
* Parents are encouraged to download the Royal Life Saving ‘Home Pool Safety Checklist’ at https://www.royallifesaving.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/4641/HomePool_A4Checklist2009_LR.pdf