Ballarat Aquatic & Lifestyle Centre (BALC) have a clear message for local parents – active supervision is the role of parents and guardians when visiting aquatic facilities across Ballarat this summer season.
BALC have today re-launched their Watch Around Water campaign during Water Safety Week 2018 by demonstrating the impact drowning deaths have on the community by inviting 249 people to take part in a group photo in the Learn to Swim pool to represent the number of drowning deaths across Australia in 2017/18.
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.
A lapse in adult supervision was the contributing factor in 100% of drowning deaths in toddlers last year.
It is a condition of entry that all children under 5 be required to wear a yellow arm band and have an adult over the age of 16 in the water with them when swimming at BALC and all City of Ballarat managed outdoor pools this season.
Leanne White, Aquatic Education Team Leader at BALC urges parents to be vigilant, even if their children are competent swimmers.
“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.
We see it every day here at the Aquatic Centre – parents looking at their phones or grabbing a coffee in the Café.
Our lifeguards are on duty to deal with emergencies, but it is the role of parents to prevent emergencies from happening. We can’t stress enough how important it is to be actively supervising at all times.”