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Be within sight and reach of young children, be aware of all potential water hazards, put appropriate safety precautions in place and be prepared.
That’s the plea from WaterSafe Auckland (WAI) and Safekids New Zealand (Safekids) in an effort to avoid adding to a rising child drowning toll with the Christmas New Year holiday period still to play out.
“Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children in New Zealand,” says Safekids New Zealand Director Ann Weaver, “and already this year 13 children under the age of five have drowned.”
The good news is that drowning is preventable and as holiday plans are made WAI and Safekids want parents and caregivers to think about the simple things they can do to help keep their children safe from drowning.
“Most importantly,” says WAI Business Manager Teresa Stanley, “is that they should always ensure there is a designated adult to actively supervise children at all times and that means being within sight and reach, and without distraction.”
You can also help minimise the risks by identifying potential water hazards and addressing them where possible she says.
“This includes the portable spa or swimming pool that might be lurking under your Christmas tree that will also need to be fenced, just like an in-ground pool,” says Teresa.
With a little planning and care families can enjoy their time around water these holidays.
For more information, contact:
Business Manager, WaterSafe Auckland
P 027 285 9045
Director, Safekids New Zealand
P 021 444 382
Safety tips to keep children safer around water this summer
WaterSafe Auckland is the acknowledged lead agency for water safety coordination and education in the Auckland region. As one of the four service delivery amenities under the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008, WaterSafe Auckland is mandated by the ratepayers of Auckland to deliver water safety education to meet the needs of those living in and visiting the region. www.watersafe.org.nz
Safekids New Zealand is a service of Starship Children’s Health, established in the early 1990s by Starship Children’s Health Trauma Service to help reduce the high rates of preventable injury to children. www.safekids.org.nz