Home is the central hub for family life and while we all see our homes as the ultimate safe place for our children, everyday items in and around the home can become water safety dangers and risks.
With the highest drowning rates globally being among children aged 1-4 years, it is not just being out and about, around large quantities of water like swimming pools and lakes that put young children at risk.
Hazards change in the home according to the child’s age and development so it is important to be aware of creating a safe home for your children looking at their age and abilities.
Children aged under 12 months can drown very quickly and in very little water, including water containers that may not be perceived as risks.
Toddlers and young children may be mobile, but are too young to recognise danger, and they can easily fall into water and struggle to get out. The absence of barriers and momentary lapses in supervision put toddlers at risk.
The number of drownings that occur around the home are low compared to those at other locations. However, drownings around the home are also very preventable.
Michael Dunn, Deputy Director of Education & Research of the Royal Life Saving Society said “Of course we all keep our children under close supervision, especially when there is water around, but it is natural that occasionally something will draw our attention away, and that is when having a ‘water safe’ home helps to keep children safe”.
Follow these water safety tips to ensure your home is ‘water safe’:
- Don’t leave children unattended in the bath.
- Cover all water storage containers.
- Keep children away from washing machines.
- Make sure garden gates and fencing are in order.
- Always keep an eye on children.
- Empty paddling pools, baths and buckets after use.
- Fence in private ponds and pools.
- Keep bath plugs out of the reach of children so they cannot fill the bath with water when you are not around.