STAY SAFE: Sammy Boynton with children Milaya, 2 and Elijah, 3 beat the heat at Orion Lagoon.
STAY SAFE: Sammy Boynton with children Milaya, 2 and Elijah, 3 beat the heat at Orion Lagoon. Cordell Richardson

Keep eyes on kids, not on phones

POOL Safety advocate Andrew Plint is urging parents to get off their phones and make sure they supervise their kids properly this summer.

This comes after a social media post on Friday showing a group of kids in the water at Robelle Domain holding a sign saying "watch me not your phone”.

Mr Plint said with a long hot summer coming and potentially thousands swimming at Robelle Domain parents need to be proactive to ensure their kids were safe.

"Lifeguards are there for when things go wrong, they're not baby sitters,” Mr Plint said.

"It's not a lifeguards responsibility.”

A Royal Life Saving report showed that 18 children under the age of five died from drowning last year.

Mr Plint, who lost his daughter Hannah in tragic drowning incident back in 2007, said parents should be in the water with their kids.

"If your kids are in the pool, you're in there with them. I'm a huge supporter of the keep watch principal.

"Parents need to be actively supervising their child.”

The QT saw numerous people using their phones at the Lagoon yesterday.

Sammy Boynton was there keeping cool as the temperature soared. The mum of two said she was very strict when it came to water safety.

"We always go in with them, they always have their floaties on and we always watch them,” Ms Boynton said.

A council spokesperson said guardians needed to keep watch.

"Council has a clear message for adults with children around any water, including lagoons, pools, dams and rivers, that is: water is only safe when you keep watch,” the spokesperson said.

"Adults have to take responsibility for children at all times, no matter how safe it might seem. Council also reminds people that lifeguards are not babysitters.

"And, in addition to children, adults should look out for non-swimmers and others not confident in the water by keeping them within arm's reach.

"Finally, you cannot have any water safe message without the usual staples: slip, slop, slap and keep up the fluid intake, especially in the current heatwave.”

The Plint family started Hannah's Foundation, providing support to other families and campaigned for tougher pool safety legislation.

Call the Hannah's Foundation 24 hour family peer support line on 1800 426624 or see www.hannahsfoundation.org/



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