Supervision

Child holding a keep watch sign

Over the last 15 years, 62 children aged under five have drowned — with more than half of these tragedies occurring in home swimming pools. Sadly, drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children aged from 0 to 4 years old. 

You might think that this might never happen to you, but the fact is, life gets busy and is full of distractions, and it only takes a fleeting moment for an unsupervised child to access the pool and drown.

Distractions like answering the phone, attending to another child, or ducking inside to grab something can have tragic consequences if a toddler is left unattended by water. You should always be in arm’s reach of your child; it’s not an occasional glance while you nap, read or fold the washing, and it’s not watching through the window, either.

Lack of direct adult supervision is the main factor in 70% of toddler drowning deaths. Indirect supervision has resulted in the loss of many young lives, proving that when your attention is focused on something else, tragedies can occur.

Would you know what to do if this happened? In many emergency situations involving children, a parent is the first person on the scene and can provide lifesaving assistance until emergency help arrives.

It's for this reason that every parent should learn first aid and CPR. Royal Life Saving WA runs three-hour Heart Beat Club resuscitation courses, which are specifically designed for parents with young children. 

The course covers common child injuries such as choking, burns and scalds and drowning, with a major focus on child and infant CPR.

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Heart Beat Club

A mother demonstrating CPR on an infant

In an emergency make sure you know how to react. Learn CPR.

Can you keep their heart beating?

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image of woman laying beside pool with young boy looking into the water

Supervision Checklist

  • Have you brought all the clothes, towels, gear, etc? so you do not need to stop watching you child in, or near water.
  • Are you prepared to get wet? Active supervision often means getting in the water with the child.
  • Have you taken the phone with you? Better yet, turn on the answer machine and let it take the call.
  • Are you within arm’s reach of your child at all times?
  • Do you undertake other activities while your child is in, or near water? Remember that this reduces the attention you give the child.