The Queensland Government is again urging parents to take precautions in and around swimming pools this summer, in light of recent figures regarding child-related drownings in private pools.
Minister for Housing and Public Works Tim Mander said new data from the Commission for Children and Young People was a timely reminder to take pool safety seriously.
“The paper shows there were eight pool-related child drownings in Queensland last year, up from three the year before,” says Mander. “Immersion rates have also dramatically increased – there were 130 immersion incidents relating to children aged between one and four years of age.”
It’s also crucial that people check their pool fences are in good condition, fence gates are working and that they’re closed and used properly, since the increase in drowning numbers for children from birth to four years of age can be attributed in part to inadequate fencing and pool gates being defective or left open.
“However, ensuring your pool fence and gate comply with pool safety legislation is only part of the solution,” says Mander. “Children should be supervised at all times around pools and should know how to swim. Inadequate supervision also contributed in five of the six deaths of young children under five years during 2012-13.”
The new data supports a recently released report from The Royal Life Saving Society Australia which also showed a rise in the number of drownings nationally in Australia during 2012-13.
“We are working to specifically reduce the national number of children under the age of 14 drowning from 31 deaths in 2012-13, to 17 by 2020, because this figure is just too high,” says Michael Darben, Executive Director of Royal Life Saving Society Queensland. “Adhering to Queensland’s pool safety laws is one way of reducing this rate, however the proper supervision of children, learning CPR and learning swimming and water safety skills are also equally important.”
“This just shows that we all need to do our bit to keep our loved ones safe,” added Mander.