Water provides great fun for children, but leaving them around water without adult supervision is dangerous.
Last year, 45% of all drowning deaths in Victoria were children aged 0–4 years. For children that survive drowning incidents, many are hospitalised and can be left with permanent disabilities.
Most fatal drownings occur at home, including backyard swimming pools, bathtubs and dams. Often a lack of supervision combined with inadequate safety barriers around the pool or outdoor spa are found to be a contributing factor to the child’s death. In some cases, a climbing point allowed for easy access to the swimming pool.
Make sure to restrict children's access to water and always keep them within arm's reach when around water. Remember, 20 seconds is all it takes.
Always keep your eyes on children around water.
Video transcript: Play it Safe by the Water – Think Again - TVC
Each scene is accompanied by narration from the child’s parent. However, in stark contrast to the joyous imagery, each line is spoken with devastating regret.
We open on a scene of a child playing on the banks of a river or creek, the type typically visited as part of a weekend or camping excursion. Her slightly older sibling is near her.
MOTHER (CHILD 1): We thought she’d be fine with her sister looking out for her…
We cut to a scene of a toddler in the bath.
FATHER (CHILD 2): I thought it will only take a second to check dinner…
We cut to a scene of a child opening the backyard pool gate, then playing and dipping toy truck in pool.
MOTHER (CHILD 3): We thought ‘We’ll fix the pool gate on the weekend…’
VOICEOVER: 20 seconds is all it takes for a child to drown.
We cut back to our opening creek scene. There is no sign of the toddler.
VOICEOVER: Think it safe.
We cut back to the scene of the bath. The bathwater is full, but we no longer see the toddler.
VOICEOVER: Think again.
We cut to a view that shows the pool. There is no sign of the toddler.
VOICEOVER: Always keep children within arm’s reach around water.
VOICEOVER: Authorised by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.