Party Water Hazards

party celebration at home


Picture this: you’re planning a get-together with friends or family at your house, and there’ll be a few young kids around. You’ve planned the food and drinks, the house is neat and tidy and the outdoor area is ready for entertaining. You’ve thought of just about everything…or have you?

Toddlers are naturally curious and are at high risk of drowning if left unsupervised. Even if you don’t have a swimming pool, there are plenty of other hazards around the home that could easily pose a risk to a young child. Young children are top heavy and can drown in as little as 5cm of water if their face becomes submerged and they are unable to pull their face out of the water.

Parties also tend to get busy very quickly with lots of people around and many things happening all at once. It’s easy to become distracted, and to assume that ‘someone’ is watching the kids. But unfortunately, it only takes a few minutes for an unsupervised child to wander off and run into problems around water.

Here are some potential hazards to check for before your next gathering:


Young children can slip and fall into a toilet bowl head first. Fit your toilet with a child safety latch to keep the lid closed and prevent young children from accessing the open bowl.

Pet bowls

Ensure that any water bowls for your pets are kept securely away from any children wandering around the house.


Ensure your pond is fitted with a safety net to keep curious faces from getting too close. When properly installed, the net should easily support the weight of a child to keep them out of harm’s way.

Water features

Water features can be drained and left empty prior to guests arriving. Alternatively, a safety mesh can be installed in the same way as ponds.


Cleaning the windows or outdoor furniture before guests arrive? Buckets of water should be emptied and stored upside down and moved away from water access points such as taps.

Inflatable/portable pools

Always empty inflatable paddle pools and shell pools immediately after use and store them upside down. WA law requires that all pools that hold more than 30cm in water depth must be fenced. Check the details of portable pool requirements here.

Think about any other sources of water and ways to prevent access to these in the event of a child wandering off unnoticed. Access prevention is one of the four key ‘layers of protection’ that form part of the Keep Watch message. Read more about the program to prevent toddler drowning at the link below.

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