Paramedics renew advice for water safety as temps rise

NSW Ambulance has renewed advice on water safety this summer following recent incidents across the state.

Temperatures are set to rise this week and the warmer temperatures often mean more drowning/near drowning incidents as people flock to the beach, pools, lakes and creeks.

NSW Ambulance Director of Education Alan Morrison said there was never a time to be complacent when children and water are involved.

"It only takes a moment for a child to get themselves into trouble around water so it is absolutely vital they are supervised vigilantly at all times," Chief Superintendent Morrison said.

"Anybody who has experienced the horror of a drowning or near-drowning knows it is extremely traumatic for everyone, especially when children are involved.

"When it comes to pools there should be strict adherence to safety guidelines including keeping gates properly closed, removing any items kids can use to climb fences, displaying a CPR chart at all times and knowing what to do in an emergency."

There are also risks indoors with drownings and near-drownings in baths, an all-too-common source of Triple Zero calls to NSW Ambulance involving babies.

"Constant supervision of babies and children in the bath is vital and this means under no circumstances should you let them out of your sight to answer the phone or attend to any other distractions," Chief Superintendent Morrison said.

"Don't fill the bath too high and never rely on flotation devices to keep a child's head above water."

Whatever the environment, Chief Superintendent Morrison said there is one fundamental piece of advice to remember.

"Around water, ensure you know where children are at all times and always maintain visual contact with them," he said.

"This remains just as important in public places such as a community pool or the beach; you should never rely on someone else watching the children in your care and ensuring their safety."

NSW Ambulance also advises:

  • in a medical emergency dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance
  • learn CPR and have a CPR chart affixed to the pool fence. You can download a CPR chart from the NSW Ambulance website
  • don't expect older children to look after younger siblings - children are easily distracted
  • don't wedge open gates with toys - this is one of the biggest ways kids can get into trouble
  • check that your pool fence complies with the latest Australian Standards and is in good condition
  • take pool toys out when finished in the pool, so children can't be tempted to try and get them.


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