YAWA Aquatic Centre is the 200th Victorian aquatic centre to join Life Saving Victoria’s Watch Around Water safety campaign.
The campaign aims to reinforce the message about the importance of supervising children around water: younger children should be within arm’s reach and those under 10 within sight and under active supervision.
The campaign places the onus on parents and guardians and their close attention to their children is a condition of entry to the aquatic centres.
Life Saving Victoria marked the occasion with a celebration at Yawa last week.
Manager aquatic industry services Alek Olszewski emphasised the importance of the message. “Active supervision is essential in preventing aquatic-related death or injury by drowning,” he said.
“The parent or guardian must remain in close proximity and pay continual attention to the child at all times, and free of distractions, such as answering the phone or leaving the area to go to the bathroom.
“It only takes 20 seconds for a child to drown and accidents can occur even with a short lapse in supervision.”
Of the 61 drownings in Victoria from July 2020-June 2021, 15 were children. This is 11 more than the five-year annual average and the highest number of drownings in this age group in more than 20 years. It includes eight children under four and seven aged 5-14.