Injuries in aquatic facilities

The prevention of incidents and injuries in aquatic facilities is paramount to ensuring safe and fun recreation opportunity for all Western Australians.

Despite the vigilance of facility staff and quick responses to incidents, data from Royal Life Saving WA’s Bigger, Better, Safer report shows an increase in injuries during the 2017-18 year. This was a 53.4% increase from 2016-17. It should be noted that the majority of incidents were classified as minor, however a focus on safety to decrease the risks of injury at WA aquatic centres is encouraged.

Patrons aged 0-4 and 5-14 sustained the highest injury rate, highlighting the need to ensure all children have access to swimming and water safety programs, and to continue to educate parents around supervision at the pool.

The report also found that patrons aged 55 and over were at the highest risk of major injuries. Aquatic centre staff should be encouraged to become familiar with regular patrons’ medical conditions, illnesses and skill levels. It is also important that staff maintain up-to-date skills by attending regular training that includes practical CPR, first aid and emergency response components.

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