Water safety is no laughing matter: be safe, stay safe
It serves as a great starting point for planning a safe aquatic adventure.
1. Be prepared
Learn to swim and survive. Set rules for safe play in the water. Always use safe and correct equipment and know the weather and water conditions before you get in.
2. Watch out for yourself and others
Always pay close attention to children you are supervising when in or near water.
Swim with others and in areas where lifeguards are present.
3. Be aware of the dangers
Enter shallow and unknown water feet first and obey all safety signs and warning flags.
Do not enter the water after drinking alcohol.
4. Know your limits
Challenge yourself within your physical limits and experience.
Learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger. When it comes to caring for your children around water, extra care should be taken.
According to Water Safety NZ, preschooler drownings occur when a child is allowed out of sight and reach of a caregiver; in the bath, paddling pool, or bucket – or larger bodies of water such as in a beach, lake or river.
No children under-five should be drowning in this country.
Keep under fives within arm’s reach at all times. It only takes sixty seconds and around five centimetres of water for a child to drown.
Always empty and store paddling pools and water containers after use and ensure you have a safely fenced play area
Identify water hazards in and around your home and ensure your children can’t reach them
If you’re in a group of people, ensure you have an active supervision roster so you know who is watching the children at all times
Make sure older children don’t have to take responsibility for younger children
Teach your children water safety behaviour from as soon as they are old enough to understand, things like: ‘Never go near the water unless you’re with a grown up’.