Important water safety reminder. RACV is urging people not to become complacent around water as summer continues.
A child can drown within 20 seconds. That’s as long as it takes to send a text, dry yourself with a towel or choose a song on your phone.
Data from the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia (RLSSA) shows that there have been 52 people drown up to 30 Jan 2023, that is just this summer in Australia
35% of those deaths were from swimming, and 21% were boating incidents. Also 40% of the deaths were in NSW while 20% were in Vic.
RACV’s Head of Home and Business Insurance Kirsty Hayes said there are a number of ways Victorians can keep themselves safe around water as the warmer weather continues.
“It’s crucial that we continue to keep pool safety top of mind – supervise your children around water, prioritise learning about water and restrict access to water by ensuring pools are fenced off with a compliant safety barrier,” said Kirsty.
“In Victoria, any pool containing water 30cm or deeper (including indoor pools, spas, wading pools and above-ground pools) must have a compliant safety barrier with self-closing and self-latching gates and be registered with your local council.
Water Safety tips
By following these summer pool safety tips, you can help keep the whole family safe.
1. Supervise: Keep watch of your child around water. Children under ten should be actively supervised and always be in your sight, with children under five always within arms reach. It’s important to remember that while floating toys and noodles are fun, they can’t be relied upon as safety equipment and some can flip and trap children underwater.
2. Restrict: In addition to ensuring your pool has a compliant safety barrier, make sure you always empty inflatable pools and paddling pools immediately after use. In rural areas, it’s important to restrict a child’s access to water bodies such as dams that cannot be fenced.
3. Learn: Although water safety has been part of the Victorian education curriculum since 2017, it’s important to learn about water safety well before school. If you’re an adult that hasn’t learnt to swim yet, it’s not too late to enrol yourself in an adult swim class.