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.

Never take your eyes off children around water.



Video transcript: Play it Safe by the Water - Ten to One - TVC

Length: 0:31 seconds

Transcript begins

Description: Video begins with a sequence of scenes showing a young girl:

  • wearing fairy wings and bouncing on the trampoline
  • playing under the garden sprinkler
  • wearing an art smock and poring paint
  • wearing a pink and white cape and climbing a tree
  • crawling through a cardboard box, with cut-out windows
  • blowing out the number three candle on her birthday cake, and, finally
  • chasing her red balloon that eventually lands in the swimming pool, which she then tries to reach. The scene ends just before she falls in.

Description: The next scene pans around the room, showing the child's fairy wings hanging on a bookshelf, with a silhouette of the medical drip in the background, to then showing the child's painting on the wall, with a silhouette of the wheelchair in the foreground, then to her birthday cards on display.

Voice over: For every toddler who drowns, 10 are hospitalised; many with permanent disabilities.

Description: The scene then reveals the toddler lying motionless in her bed. From the medical equipment and wheelchair positioned next her bed, we can quickly gain an understanding that the girl is suffering from some kind of permanent disability.

Voice over: 20 seconds is all it takes. Never take your eyes off children around water.

Transcript ends

Water safety messages for people caring for small children in six languages

Water safety risks for: