Watch Around Water
A Life Saving Message
What is Watch Around Water?
Bold Park Aquatic is a Watch Around Water endorsed Aquatic Centre. Watch Around Water is an educational and awareness program that addresses the growing industry concern regarding levels of parental supervision of children while visiting aquatic facilities.
The program was launched in 2004 in response to a spike in drowning deaths at public swimming pool facilities involving young children. It is an industry program – created by the industry for the industry, which is integral to its success.
The aim of the program is to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents and aquatic injury involving young children under 14 years of age at public swimming pool facilities in Western Australia.
- To provide state-wide parental supervision standards and practices at public swimming pool facilities throughout Western Australia
- Increase and improve aquatic staff knowledge and skills regarding safe supervision practices
- Improve awareness, and provide knowledge to caregivers, of appropriate supervision levels for children under 14 years of age at public swimming pool facilities
- Increase the proportion of caregivers that effectively supervise their children while at public swimming pool facilities
‘Parents supervise, lifeguards save lives’
Even though lifeguards are on duty at Bold Park Aquatic, parents still have a crucial role to play in the supervision of children while visiting the Centre. It’s not about shifting responsibility, it’s about having both parents and lifeguards working together to keep children safe.
A child can drown in less than 20 seconds – it happens quickly and silently, and often in the short time when supervision is absent as a result of parents being distracted.
Key messages for parents and carers:
- Under 5 years – always keep them within arm’s reach
If your child is under five years of age, supervision must be within arm’s reach – meaning you need to be in the water with your child.
- Under 10 years – always keep them in sight
Constant active supervision is required for children. Parents and carers must be prepared to enter the water and maintain constant visual contact.
- Keep an eye on your child regardless of the activity they may be doing
Whether your child is engaged in swimming lessons, playing on the pool inflatable or free play swimming, you should always maintain visual contact to ensure they do not get into trouble in the water.
- Be aware of distractions
Take steps to minimise distractions – such as mobile phones or chatting to other parents – to avoid lapses in supervision.
- Be prepared
Ensure you have everything you need before getting into the water, such as towels and dry clothes.
Source: Royal Life Saving Society Western Australia