In the glorious Sutherland Shire we have our pick of clean, blue, sandy beaches and most of us have a friend or two with a backyard swimming pool, so with Summer well and truly on the way it’s likely your family will be spending more time by the water in a bid to stay cool. Mum Mel Jessup is the local ambassador for the Parentmedic Movement which aims to make first aid education and training accessible and affordable to parents and carers. She has offered some timely advice to ensure everyone stays safe during trips to the beach or pool.
Melissa said: “Statistics from The Royal Life Saving Society show that last year there were 87 drowning deaths in NSW alone, and while there has been a 38% reduction in drowning deaths involving children aged under five years old, it is still happening. We must continually be reminded to keep watch of our little ones and ensure we have pool gates which are in safe working order. The following information is intended as a checklist to make sure parents and carers remain vigilant with children around water.”
Water safety at home
Did you know? A toddler or child only needs a small amount of water to drown in – as little as 2cm. Take some time to consider all the areas in your home that pose a risk of drowning. These could be things like:
- Dog/Cat water bowls
- Inflatable Pools
- Water features
At a young age, our children are inquisitive and want to explore everything! This exploring can often lead them to unsafe areas that they don’t realize are dangerous. We need to take measures to ensure their surroundings are safe but remember that supervision is always essential.
Bath time requires 100% adult supervision! Bath aids are NOT a safety device and your child still requires supervision.
- Preparation! Ensure you have everything ready and close by before the bath is full – clothing, towels, shampoo and anything else you will need.
- Ensure the bath isn’t too full.
- Use a grip mat to minimize the risk of slipping.
- Ensure your child is within arm’s reach.
- Never leave an older child to supervise the younger child in the bath.
- Empty the bath immediately after use.
If you have or are thinking of getting a pool at home, there are some considerations to take into account – fencing, gates, ability to supervise, environment, chemicals, and electricity. The Royal Australian Life Saving Society has created this informative video on things to consider and also have a printable checklist available on their website which you can find HERE.
Swimming classes for your child
Royal Life Saving Australia run a Swim and Survive program which is a comprehensive swimming and water safety initiative that seeks to increase the swimming and water safety skills of all children in order to prevent drowning.
Melissa explained the difference between this program and regular swimming lessons. She said: “Swimming lessons are something that mainly provides swimming instruction to a proficient swimmer so that the student can improve their swimming skills. Personal Aquatic Survival Skills (PASS), is a skill which includes knowing what to do, that allows a person to survive and/or be safe in the water.”
The Swim and Survive Program has three programs, depending on a child’s age and works through, water familiarisation, courage, and confidence breathing skills and movement, right through to survival, water safety and basic rescue skills.
Any drowning prevention information site will explain the importance of knowing First Aid and CPR. If you are required to rescue your child (or anybody else) it is important to know how to perform CPR.
“I offer baby and child first aid sessions – which are child-friendly!” Said Mel Jessup. “Sessions typically runs for two hours and can be held in your own home. During the session, we cover CPR, airway management, choking, fevers, head injuries and more! The idea is to leave you feeling confident, empowered and knowing exactly what to do when your child is sick or in an emergency.”
Mel Jessup is an ambassador for Parentmedic – a social enterprise with a focus on making first aid education and training accessible and affordable to every parent and carer in the world. Their vision is to see every child in the world be cared for by someone with the confidence and knowledge to keep them safe and supported. If you would like to find out, more or make a booking you can contact Mel via [email protected] or 0401 198 860.