Royal Life Saving is asking all Australians with swimming pools to use the weeks before summer to check their pool fencing to protect young children from drowning.
In the past decade, more than half of all children, aged zero to four years, who drowned in Australia lost their lives in a backyard swimming pool.
Children who drowned often gained access to the pool area through a fence or gate which had fallen into disrepair or a gate which had been deliberately propped open.
We know families are under a lot of pressure with lockdowns in place in many parts of Australia.
The demands of constant supervision are exhausting.
But close supervision is the best way to protect a child from drowning.
Our research shows any distractions, such as using mobile phones or doing household chores, while children are near water increases their risk of drowning.
In cases of child drowning in home pools, designated supervisors were often distracted by everyday tasks, such as a conversation with another person, answering the door or attending to another child, all of which give a young child time to wander away unnoticed.
A pool fence in good repair can give you precious minutes when a determined toddler unexpectedly wanders off towards the pool.
Almost 40 per cent of child drownings happen over the summer months which is why now is the time to get your backyard swimming pool prepared.
When left in and around the pool, pool toys can attract the attention of children who may try to get through or over a fence or reach out to try and get the toy from the pool's edge.
For this reason, all pool toys need to be securely stored out of sight and reach of children and never left in the pool when not in use.
Adults can access a free home pool safety checklist to make sure their pool area is safe and secure at www.royallifesaving.com.au/stay-safe-active/locations/water-safety-at-home
We want all Australians to have fun in the water and stay safe this summer.
Please take the time to do a backyard pool safety check - your actions today could save a child's life.
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