Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre (BALC) is implementing the new Lifesaving Victoria Watch Around Water guidelines for swimming with and supervising children in and around the water at the Centre and all City of Ballarat aquatic facilities this summer.
From 1 December 2019, families with children aged under 10 years will need to remember the following ratios of children to adults when visiting Ballarat’s swimming pools:
- Children under 5 years: 1 adult to 2 children
- Children under 10 years: 1 adult to 4 children
Recommended by Lifesaving Victoria, the peak body for water safety in Victoria, and introduced by the Watch Around Water campaign this year, the new guidelines aim to reduce the number of drowning incidents in children aged under 10.
Families who do not have enough adults to actively and safely supervise children in and around the water will not be able to enter the swimming facilities.
The Watch Around Water policy requires children under 5 to be within arm’s reach of a parent or guardian over the age of 16 during recreational play activities. Children under 10 must be constantly and actively supervised at all times.
All City of Ballarat pools will open for the summer season on 1 December, with Eureka Pool returning to summer hours.Watch Around Water, introduced in 2004 in Western Australia, emphasises the importance of constant, active adult supervision of children under 10 in and around the water as it can only take 20 seconds for a person to drown.
It is a condition of entry that all children under 5 wear a yellow arm band, free when purchasing a swim, and have an adult over the age of 16 in the water with them when swimming at BALC and all City of Ballarat outdoor pools this season.
Leanne White, Aquatic Education Team Leader at BALC, is reminding parents and guardians to stay vigilant around water over the summer period.
“It’s important to remember that a person can drown in just 20 seconds in as little as 30cm of water. Taking your eyes off your child for just a moment can lead to devastating consequences.
“Our lifeguards are there to deal with emergency situations in the water, parents are there to actively supervise their children and prevent those emergencies from happening. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be actively supervising at all times.”
For more information on outdoor pools, including opening hours, visit www.ballarataquaticcentre.com.au. For information on the Watch Around Water campaign, visit www.watcharoundwater.org.au or www.lsv.com.au.
Watch Around Water new ratios
- 1 parent: 2 under 5, 2 under 10
- 1 parent 1 under 5, 3 under 10
- 2 parents 4 under 5, 4 under 10
- 2 parents 3 under 5, 5 under 10
- 1 parent 3 under 5
- 1 parent, 3 under 5, 1 under 10
- 1 parent, 5 under 10