This post is sponsored by the Royal Lifesaving Australia
I’ve always been the overcautious parent around water. I know the statistics and when we had a pool put in for last summer I set some hard and fast rules. No mobile phone in the pool area to distract me, all towels, sunscreen, goggles etc. right there before we get in the pool, and never, ever leaving Tully in the pool area without an adult. But still, there was one time she could have drowned.
We were in the pool and someone arrived to pick something up. She was carrying on about getting out because it was cold but we both got out, put our towels on and went through the gate. I let her in the garden as I ran to answer the door. What I didn’t realise though, was that she caught the soft close gate before it clicked shut. While I was inside I could hear her calling to me but I thought she was in the garden. When I looked out she was in the pool! I’ve never felt so sick about what could have happened. And this happened with a brand-new pool fence.
A NSW study of child drowning deaths in home swimming pools over the last 15 years, showed that in 62% of cases, the child gained access to the pool area through a faulty fence or gate, or a gate which had been deliberately propped open, allowing the child to enter the pool area unaccompanied. I had none of these reasons listed and she still managed to get in.
Almost half (46%) of toddler drowning deaths in home pools occurred in summer, and one fifth (21%) occurred on a Sunday. It’s so easy to get distracted- no matter how on top of everything you think you are. A crying baby, a barking dog, a telephone call- all these things mentally remove you from watching your child in or near the pool and that’s when accidents happen. The study found that 100% of child drowning cases in home swimming pools, active adult supervision had either lapsed or was entirely absent.
So how can we maximize our children’s safety and prevent them from drowning while still enjoying our pools?
Be Prepared – Always make sure you have everything ready when going swimming e.g. towels, goggles, dry clothes, drinking water
Be Close – Always be within arm’s reach of your child/children
All of Your Attention – Focus all of your attention on your child/children and watch, talk and play with them when they are in the water
All of The Time – Never leave your child alone in the water, nor should they be left in the care of an older child
Have you had a near drowning accident in your family?
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