Pool drowning is preventable

Dear Sir,

I write to you in my capacity as the CEO of Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, to ask all readers to take the greatest of care when children are in or around water.

Royal Life Saving’s latest campaign – “Keep Watch” – urges all parents not to be complacent about their child’s safety around water.

Our latest research shows that 461 children under the age of five have died in Australia over the past 15 years due to drowning. Of these, half the drownings were in home pools or spas.

In 100 percent of child drowning cases in home swimming pools, active adult supervision had either lapsed or was entirely absent.

Water is only safe when you are watching. Distractions like answering the phone, attending to another child or going inside briefly to grab something can have absolutely tragic consequences if a toddler is left unattended by water.

An average of 31 children tragically drown every year. For every toddler drowning death, approximately 10 children are admitted to hospital as a result of non-fatal drowning.

Drowning is preventable. We ask all readers to follow the four Keep Watch key actions to prevent toddler drowning: Always actively supervise all children around water; regularly check and maintain your pool fence and gate; teach children water awareness; and learn CPR.

We ask all parents to take every precaution when it comes to their child’s safety around water. Readers can obtain tips and resources at

CEO, Royal Life Saving Society – Australia