Heat is on to enforce pool safety
AS THE thermometer rises, Ipswich children will no doubt gravitate towards their traditional summer hangout of the backyard swimming pool.
But before families rush to the pool, the Royal Life Savers are launching the Keep Watch campaign in partnership with PoolWerx to prevent toddlers from suffering the silent death of drowning.
In the past 12 months, 28 children under the age of five drowned, with the majority of deaths occurring in backyard swimming pools.
The Keep Watch campaign urges people to supervise children when in, on or around water, restrict their access to water, ensure they are water aware and for everyone to know CPR.
Ross McTaggart, of PoolWerx in North Tivoli, said it was up to the individual to make sure their pool fence was lodged with the Pool Safety Register and met the safety checklist.
"Really, the point we're trying to stress is families with small children need to take responsibility, be proactive and take some personal interest in it, get their kids to swimming lessons and for one person in the family to have CPR training," Mr McTaggart said.
Among the checklist points are ensuring the pool gate latch is 1.5m high, the pool fence is 1.2m high and clear of objects that could be used to climb the fence.
"What we're really trying to say to people is there is the legal side of fencing and the personal responsibility of keeping watch."
Mr McTaggart has CPR safety signs and information on the Keep Watch initiative at his store.
PoolWerx CEO John O'Brien said the network shared a vision of targeting zero preventable backyard drowning deaths.
"We are working every day with people to ensure Australian home pools are safe, healthy swimming environments.
"If we can help save the life of just one little one by completing a complimentary poolside health check, we're making a substantial difference."
Royal Life Saving CEO Rob Bradley warned a staggering 85% of home pools did not meet safety standards or were not fenced at all.
"Tens of thousands of pools across the nation are potential death traps," he said.
Go to www.homepoolsafety.com.au or call Royal Life Saving on 1300 737 763 for more details.
62% of all toddler drownings occur in a child's own home.
32% of all toddler drowning victims are under two years of age.
In the past year, 28 children under the age of five drowned.