The Cessnock Advertiser's Letters to the Editor: December 9, 2020

KEEP WATCH: More than 500 children aged zero to four have sadly drowned in the past 18 years.
KEEP WATCH: More than 500 children aged zero to four have sadly drowned in the past 18 years.

ALWAYS SUPERVISE CHILDREN AROUND WATER

Royal Life Saving is reminding all parents and carers of the vital importance of adult supervision at all times when children are around water.

Drowning is often quick and silent. It can easily happen whilst parents are distracted by everyday chores around the home.

Any distraction is dangerous can be very dangerous and can put young children at risk around water. It is never worth taking the risk.

Research shows that, over the past 18 years, 507 children aged zero to four years drowned. Of these, 207 (41 percent) were aged one year. The risk of drowning triples as soon as a child starts to crawl. It peaks shortly after a child's first birthday, just as they start to become more mobile.

Royal Life Saving's new Keep Watch Campaign kicks off in time for summer to remind parents and carers about the risks of child drowning. Children are very curious and unpredictable. They love to explore and can disappear in the blink of an eye. Remember - kids can't help themselves around water, you need to.

Royal Life Saving is asking all parents and carers to Supervise, Restrict, Teach and Respond to keep children safe. Supervise your children at all times around water. Restrict their access to water with a correctly installed and regularly maintained pool fence. Teach them water safety skills. Know how to respond in an emergency by learning CPR skills.

We want all Australians to enjoy our beautiful waterways this summer. It is very important to be mindful of the risks. Stay safe and always Keep Watch.

Readers can get more information by visiting royallifesaving.com.au.

Justin Scarr, CEO

Royal Life Saving Society - Australia

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