IN­SIDE TO­DAY

Leg­endary coach is­sues safety ad­vice

The Observer - - NEWS WELCOME - Matt Har­ris matthew.har­ris@glad­sto­neob­server.com.au

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.