It takes just 20 seconds and 5 centimetres of water for a toddler to drown.
Drowning is the biggest preventable cause of death for Australian children under the age of five. It is a silent killer.
More than 70% of child drowning deaths are due to inadequate parental supervision. Constant, close and focused adult supervision is essential - never take your eyes off young children near or in water and always remain within arm’s reach.
Top safety tips:
- Vigilant adult supervision means never letting toddlers out of sight, whether it’s at a pool, beach or during bath time.
- Regularly check pool fences and self-closing gates all year round to ensure they are functional. You can even complete a quick online home pool safety checklist.
- Make sure pool fences are clear of nearby furniture or anything a young child can climb to reach the pool.
- Safety barriers are required for spas, in-ground, indoor and above-ground swimming pools. This includes inflatable and other portable pools that can hold more than 30cm of water. Always empty wading pools after each use and store upright.
- New swimming pools in Victoria must have a four-sided, isolated pool fence under a new national code. More information is available on the Building Commission website.
- Take precautions around your home – always empty bath water, place a cover or mesh over backyard ponds and make sure you empty buckets and anything that contains water.
- Only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags and do not rely on beach or pool lifeguards to watch children.
- Remember that inflatable vests and flotation devices are not a substitute for adult supervision.
- Dams are the most common location for toddler drownings on farms so restrict access to water with a fenced, child-safe play area. FarmSafe Australia has a range of resources and guides to help you create child-safe play areas.