Legendary coach issues safety advice
LEGENDARY swim coach Laurie Lawrence, founder of the Kids
Alive Do The Five program, says he’s longing to see summer draw to a close with no drownings or near-drownings recorded.
Lawrence said Australia is about to hit its peak drowning period, so now is the time for people to take stock and make sure their pool is safe.
Last year 29 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia and 45 per cent of these drownings occurred in swimming pools.
POOL owners are being urged to take extra precaution this summer in an effort not to repeat some worrying statistics.
Last year saw a 30 per cent increase in drowning deaths across the country in the under-five age group. Founder of the Kids Alive
Do The Five program, Laurie Lawrence said he longed to see summer draw to a close with no drownings or near-drownings recorded.
“We are about to hit the peak drowning period in Australia, so now is the time for people to take stock and make sure their pool is safe,” he said.
Mr Lawrence, 76, said when it comes to children under five, proper supervision was critical.
“Always keep your child within arm’s reach in the pool. Remember that drownings often occur during parties and backyard barbecues in the summer months – don’t let this happen to you,” the former Australian swim coach said.
“Prevention is always better than cure. Remember the Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim, supervise and learn how to resuscitate.”
The owner of Poolwerx Gladstone and Tannum Sands, Pat Henson said the Poolwerx Healthy Pools Survey revealed 40 per cent of Australians were not taking enough precautions to protect their family during the swimming season. “Our results unfortunately show people are not doing annual safety checks of their pool area,” Mr Henson said.
“Last year, 29 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia and 45 per cent of these drownings occurred in swimming pools.
“Children most commonly gained access to the pool through a faulty fence or gate, a gate that was propped open or because there was no fence at all.
“Pool owners must check the safety of their pool area regularly and ensure pool gates and fences are in good condition, including the gate’s self-locking latch.
“It’s also important there are nothing surrounding the pool a child could use to gain access to the pool area.”
The survey also revealed 50 per cent of parents did not give their children swimming lessons.
TIMELY ADVICE: Former Australian swimming coach Laurie Lawrence wants everyone to ‘Remember to Five’ this summer - Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim, supervise and learn how to resuscitate.