Royal Life Saving is targeting high-risk areas for toddler drowning deaths such as public pools. With lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer believed to be a contributing factor in 70% of all drowning deaths at public pools,the Keep Watch @ Public Pools program aims to eliminate all drowning deaths and reduce the number of near drowning incidents at these facilities.
The program targets parents and carers of children to help them understand their responsibilities and the dangers of leaving their children unattended at the pool.
Keep Watch @ Public Pool Policy
- Children (under 10 years) are not allowed entry unless under active supervision of a person 16 years or older.
- Parents and guardians should actively supervise their children at all times and be dressed ready to enter a pool. For 0–5 year olds and non-swimmers, a paying parent or guardian needs to be in the water at all times and within arms’ reach of the child. It is best if you are engaging with your child i.e. playing with them, talking to them.
- Constant active supervision is required for children aged 6–10 years old. Parents and carers must be prepared to enter the water with this age group.
- For 11–14 year olds it is recommended that parents regularly check on their child by physically going to where they are in or around the water.
The Keep Watch @ Public Pools policy and the ages within it represent minimum standards only. Royal Life Saving encourages pools to adopt a higher standard wherever possible.
The recommendation for parents to physically check up on 11–14 year olds is intended to educate parents that this group is still at risk despite having a high degree of independence and parental supervision is an effective means of increasing their safety. Facilities should assist in the education of parents by drawing parents’ attention to the 11–14 recommendation. Facilities should also develop strategies for parental supervision of this age group as part of their policies and entry requirements.
What is active supervision @ Public Pools?
Active supervision at public pools consists of four key elements:
- Be Prepared: Ensure you have everything you need before getting into the water, such as towels and dry clothes.
- Be Close: Always be within arms’ reach of your child.
- All of Your Attention: Focus all of your attention on your child and get into the pool and talk and play with them.
- All of the Time: You should never leave your child alone in the water, nor should they be left in the care of an older child or with the assumption that your responsibility diminishes due to the presence of lifeguards.