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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Latest news

Don’t let your child become a terrible statistic

When a community loses one child, it is a tragedy. But this week, the region of NSW has experienced the loss of three young lives, all much loved, all terribly missed.

The trouble with drowning deaths is that we know they are utterly preventable and so the families aren't just left with a terrible grief, but also the pall of guilt. Anyone with young children in their life knows it is physically not possible to watch an active toddler every second of the day. They are physically and emotionally exhausting as they race around the house, exploring and discovering the world around them. It's easy to get distracted for a moment; another child needs your attention, the phone rings, someone comes to the door, you're trying to cook dinner.

That is why having a properly functioning pool fence is vital. Last year, we lost 27 under five-year-olds to drowning in Australia, 16 of them in backyard pools. For every child that dies another three or four go to hospital; one-fifth of those children will be left permanently incapacitated. What most people don't know is that young children drown silently. No gurgles, no kicks, no flailing in the water. As they hit the water, they immediately start the struggle for breath and they'll stop breathing in less than a minute. If you don't do CPR as soon as you pull them from the water, their chances of survival drop even further.

As the leading water safety, swimming and lifesaving education organisation in Australia, it is very frustrating for us to see so many children losing their lives to drowning. We know there are many demands on people's time, but if you have a pool you have a moral and legal obligation to maintain it properly. We've launched a new free safety checklist at www.homepoolsafety.com.au to help you know what to look for when you check the safety of your pool area. Fences aren't something you set and forget. You can't put them in and expect 10 years down the track that you won't need to replace a rusty hinge, refit some palings, or fill in gaps where the land has eroded underneath. You also need to keep an eye on what you keep around the pool. Garden furniture is pretty light, especially to an intrepid three-year-old who just wants to hop into the water for a minute. And pot plants make an easy toe-hold for little ones who are anxious to feel the water against their skin and willing to climb over the fence.

Children are drawn to water and they love pool toys, so you also need to consciously put toys away out of sight so they don't look for ways to get into the pool area. Gates are the weakest link in the pool fence. Is the latch self-closing and self-locking, or does it sit there, unlatched, waiting for little fingers to pull on the gate? Or have you left it propped open, giving easy access in and out of the pool area because you've got guests over or there are older children using the pool.

We hear the argument often from people who don't have children that they shouldn't have to fence their pool. But what about the kids who live down the road, or your family friends who drop around unexpectedly? During summer people tend to gather by the pool without thinking about the safety implications if everyone is distracted. That's why it is important to make sure at least one adult is responsible for watching the children all the time. We even have a bright red bucket "supervision" hat that families can buy so all the adults know exactly who is responsible at any given moment for watching the kids. You'd be surprised how often we hear that all the adults thought "someone else" was paying close attention when a child drowns. You should also brush up on your CPR skills. Whether it is a child or an adult in your life who one day needs to be revived, when every second counts you don't want to be waiting for the ambulance siren to help your loved one.

With small children, it is also a great idea to enroll them early in water familiarisation classes. While children don't have the motor and cognitive skills to learn to swim properly until they are five, basic floating, blowing bubbles and stretching for the side of the pool activities can assist them to stay afloat for a moment or two longer if they get into trouble, buying precious moments. We can't lighten the burden of grief from the families who have lost children to drowning. All we can do is try and make sure no other child joins the terrible statistics.

by Royal Lifesaving

When a community loses one child, it is a tragedy. But this week, the region of NSW has experienced the loss of three young lives, all much loved, all terribly missed.
NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL
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Latest news

Don’t let your child become a terrible statistic

When a community loses one child, it is a tragedy. But this week, the region of NSW has experienced the loss of three young lives, all much loved, all terribly missed.

The trouble with drowning deaths is that we know they are utterly preventable and so the families aren't just left with a terrible grief, but also the pall of guilt. Anyone with young children in their life knows it is physically not possible to watch an active toddler every second of the day. They are physically and emotionally exhausting as they race around the house, exploring and discovering the world around them. It's easy to get distracted for a moment; another child needs your attention, the phone rings, someone comes to the door, you're trying to cook dinner.

That is why having a properly functioning pool fence is vital. Last year, we lost 27 under five-year-olds to drowning in Australia, 16 of them in backyard pools. For every child that dies another three or four go to hospital; one-fifth of those children will be left permanently incapacitated. What most people don't know is that young children drown silently. No gurgles, no kicks, no flailing in the water. As they hit the water, they immediately start the struggle for breath and they'll stop breathing in less than a minute. If you don't do CPR as soon as you pull them from the water, their chances of survival drop even further.

As the leading water safety, swimming and lifesaving education organisation in Australia, it is very frustrating for us to see so many children losing their lives to drowning. We know there are many demands on people's time, but if you have a pool you have a moral and legal obligation to maintain it properly. We've launched a new free safety checklist at www.homepoolsafety.com.au to help you know what to look for when you check the safety of your pool area. Fences aren't something you set and forget. You can't put them in and expect 10 years down the track that you won't need to replace a rusty hinge, refit some palings, or fill in gaps where the land has eroded underneath. You also need to keep an eye on what you keep around the pool. Garden furniture is pretty light, especially to an intrepid three-year-old who just wants to hop into the water for a minute. And pot plants make an easy toe-hold for little ones who are anxious to feel the water against their skin and willing to climb over the fence.

Children are drawn to water and they love pool toys, so you also need to consciously put toys away out of sight so they don't look for ways to get into the pool area. Gates are the weakest link in the pool fence. Is the latch self-closing and self-locking, or does it sit there, unlatched, waiting for little fingers to pull on the gate? Or have you left it propped open, giving easy access in and out of the pool area because you've got guests over or there are older children using the pool.

We hear the argument often from people who don't have children that they shouldn't have to fence their pool. But what about the kids who live down the road, or your family friends who drop around unexpectedly? During summer people tend to gather by the pool without thinking about the safety implications if everyone is distracted. That's why it is important to make sure at least one adult is responsible for watching the children all the time. We even have a bright red bucket "supervision" hat that families can buy so all the adults know exactly who is responsible at any given moment for watching the kids. You'd be surprised how often we hear that all the adults thought "someone else" was paying close attention when a child drowns. You should also brush up on your CPR skills. Whether it is a child or an adult in your life who one day needs to be revived, when every second counts you don't want to be waiting for the ambulance siren to help your loved one.

With small children, it is also a great idea to enroll them early in water familiarisation classes. While children don't have the motor and cognitive skills to learn to swim properly until they are five, basic floating, blowing bubbles and stretching for the side of the pool activities can assist them to stay afloat for a moment or two longer if they get into trouble, buying precious moments. We can't lighten the burden of grief from the families who have lost children to drowning. All we can do is try and make sure no other child joins the terrible statistics.

by Royal Lifesaving

When a community loses one child, it is a tragedy. But this week, the region of NSW has experienced the loss of three young lives, all much loved, all terribly missed.
NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL
blanknews.gif

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