Water Safety for Children
Water can be an enjoyable and healthy place for children but unfortunately drowning is Australia’s leading cause of death of children aged 0 to 4. Research shows that ninety percent of infant drownings occur at home with the most popular drowning spots being swimming pools, baths and fishponds.
Young children under the age of 4 are the most vulnerable to drowning. This is because children in this age group are developing their knowledge and becoming aware of the world, so curiosity naturally occurs for them. Children around that age are also very attracted to water, it is sparkly and fun to play with it, so that is also a contributing factor to the risks of drowning if they are not properly supervised.
The good news is that children can still enjoy the water safely with the following steps that you can take!
Keep sight of your child when near water
The most important protective approach is to always supervise your child around water. It means monitoring them closely and keeping them within arms reach. Don’t believe that if they get into trouble, they’re going to splash and scream for help. Children can drown silently within twenty seconds.
Have the appropriate safety gear in case of an emergency
It is always a good idea to well equip your children with a proper life jacket when they are a very young age and when they haven’t learned how to swim properly yet. Be mindful that arm floaties, buoys and pool noodles are not appropriate safety tools and may not be useful at certain times. We recommend sticking to life jackets, especially when going in open water such as the ocean, rivers and lakes.
Teach your child basic water rules
- No running near water – it can be slippery and lead to fatal accidents.
- No diving in a pool that you’re not familiar with or in the shallow end.
- No pushing people in – you never know if they can swim and it can cause them injuries.
- No pulling under the water nor crawling on other child’s back.
- Never swim without adult supervision.
Bring safety home!
Installing proper water barriers at a house that have a swimming pool or spa is a very effective method to protect your children from the danger of falling into water. It is a regulation in the state of WA to have a four-sided barrier around a pool with a self-latching and self-closing gate and that includes spas, inflatable and portable pools. It is a good idea to check your local government regulations to ensure a safe environment for your children to play!
It is also a good idea to avoid leaving toys and other items that will make your children want to play with them around the pool area.
Don’t forget to teach your children the potential water hazards at home.
Be aware and tell your kids of other hazards around the house such as bathtubs, toilet bowls, buckets and containers and baby seats and rings. Make sure to reinforce children’s supervision at home and don’t leave them unattended when taking a bath or when leaving water buckets and containers around the house. Avoid leaving toilet bowls uncovered as well or you can also provide a toilet-cover safety latch. Remember that children are curious, and it is easy for them to stick their heads into a water-filled container.
Sign up your child for swimming lessons
Water safety skills are properly taught to children according to their age. We offer swimming programs for younger children and babies, to encourage them to gain confidence when playing around water safely, teaching them the dangers and precautionary methods when near water.