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Life Saving Victoria call on parents to be more watchful of kids around water during high-risk drowning month
Importance of supervision reiterated as child drowning risk identified.
After a tragic spate of six fatal drownings since Christmas Day, Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is reminding parents to watch around water, as it is revealed children aged 5-14 are at highest risk of drowning in January.
Of the 38 children within the 5-14 age group who have drowned in the past decade, 34 per cent have been within the month of January
Keeping an eye on the kids
This has sparked an urgent warning from LSV manager research and evaluation Dr Hannah Calverley for parents and guardians to keep an eye on their little ones. "With January marking school holidays, many families will head away to the coast or river to enjoy a relaxing break, but the one thing you can never relax on is water safety," Dr Calverley said.
"It takes just twenty seconds for a child to drown in as little as a few centimetres of water, so to avoid tragedy these holidays, please actively supervise children at all times, which means under fives in arm's reach and under 10s in your constant and direct eyeline." Dr Calverley said.
Designate adult supervisors
Dr Calverley also said another important thing to consider is who is supervising. "If you are celebrating or holidaying with a large group of people, it can be easy to assume that someone else is watching the kids when in fact, nobody is."
"This is why LSV encourages you to have designated adult supervisors whose role it is to actively watch the kids. You can rotate this role throughout the day, so everyone gets a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. The designated supervisor should also be above the age of 16 and prepared and capable to enter the water in an emergency." Dr Calverley said.
Learn the CPR
Kidsafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers also encouraged parents to learn CPR and first aid so they have the skills to respond should the worst happen. "Nobody wants to think about the worst happening, but Kidsafe Victoria encourages all parents and carers to enrol in a CPR and first aid course and update their skills regularly."
"Hopefully, these are skills you will never have to use, but if you do, it could be the difference between life and death." Mr Chambers said. Tragically, 27 people have fatally drowned in Victoria since 1 July 2022.
Pictures from Life Saving Victoria Facebook page.
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