Keep Watch visits the South West

20 February 2017

Drowning affects all regions and communities throughout Western Australia. Over the past five years there have been 19 people drown and a further 48 people hospitaised following a non-fatal drowning incident in the South West region. Water safety and drowning prevention messages are even more relevant given our tragic summer, with 12 drowning deaths recorded so far in WA.

Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Keep Watch program is visiting the South West this week in an effort to educate people how to keep themselves and their families safe around water. Keep Watch is Royal Life Saving’s toddler drowning prevention program and aims to reduce the incidence of drownings in the 0-4 year old age group.

Keep Watch is visiting a number of South West towns to educate parents, health professionals and community members about drowning prevention. The free information sessions will address drowning statistics, where children drown, and prevention strategies. A CPR demonstration is also included.

Water safety presentations will also be delivered at five childcare centres across the South West, introducing children to water safety rules. Approximately 12 presentations are scheduled during the week with a number of playgroups and family centres making the most of our visit.

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children aged under five years old. While there has been a reduction in the number of fatal drownings in the toddler age group, the number of hospitalisations for non-fatal drownings has increased significantly over the past five years. Unfortunately many parents are not aware of the impact non-fatal drownings have on the community, leaving children and families shattered by injuries and disabilities that can forever change lives.

Stephanie Green, Keep Watch Coordinator says “drowning is a particular risk for the under-five age group. Our figures reveal that three children under the age of five drowned last year. And swimming pools are not the only place children drown, with bath tubs and ponds common drowning locations for toddlers. Regional areas are often over represented in drowning statistics and there are an increased number of potential drowning hazards in regional areas such as dams and inland waterways, so it is even more important to educate people living in regional areas of WA on how to keep themselves and their families safe when around the water.”

Keep Watch promotes four prevention actions to prevent drowning including;

  • Supervise - Always Keep Watch in and around water
  • Prevent children’s access to water at all times
  • Learn - Teach your child to be water confident
  • Respond- Learn CPR and call 000 in an emergency
This week's upcoming parent presentations are happening at the following locations.

  • Tuesday 21st Feb 9.45am Bridgetown Family Centre - 36 Steere Street, Bridgetown
  • Tuesday 21st Feb 2pm Boyup Brook Community Resource Centre- 86 Abel Street, Boyup Brook
  • Wednesday 22nd Feb 10am Collie Family Centre- 5 Forrest Street, Collie
  • Thursday 23rd Feb 10am Vasse Playgroup- Corner Karloorup Road and Heritage Drive, Vasse
  • Friday 24th Feb 10am Hudson Road Family Centre- 95 Hudson Road, Bunbury

If you'd like Keep Watch to visit your community group, playgroup or childcare centre please complete the form at the link below.

Explore more button