Enjoy a swimmingly safe summer
DON’T turn your backyard into a graveyard these Christmas holidays.
That’s the grim warning from the NSW Ambulance Service to North Coast parents who are urged to be vigilant about water safety.
In the past two years, NSW paramedics responded to 526 drowning and near drowning incidents and have turned out to 55 cases in the past month alone.
“One in five drowning incidents involves a child aged under five and we would like to work with the community to decrease these alarming statistics,” an Ambulance spokesman said.
“Young children are fascinated by and attracted to water, so it’s important to recognise or eliminate potential water dangers around your home.
“With the holiday season upon us and the warm weather finally here, the Ambulance Service of NSW is calling on parents and pool owners, beachgoers or visitors to the local dam to make sure that they take care and remember the basic safety rules that apply to being around the water this summer.
“For pool owners, make sure your backyard swimming pool fence meets the regulated Australian Health and Safety standards, is in good working order and you have a current CPR chart displayed prominently in view of the pool.
“Take these simple steps and take care so that cooling off in this summer swelter doesn’t end in a drowning tragedy.”
Here’s some important things to remember:
- always supervise children when in or around the water;
- never rely on someone else to watch children;
- educate your children on water safety including storm water, drains, baths and pools;
- always swim between the flags at the beach and obey instructions given by lifeguards;
- do not drink alcohol when supervising children especially when around water;
- small children should never be left unattended in the bathtub or wading pool;
- learn basic first aid. CPR is an essential skill and is lifesaving in an emergency;
- teach your child how to swim;
- always check water depth and the possibility of submerged objects before diving into rivers, creeks or dams; and
- slop on that sunscreen.
In the case of an emergency call 000, remain on the line while details of the emergency are obtained and paramedics are dispatched.