In NSW an average of 13 drowning deaths and 84 non-fatal drowning incidents occurred in children aged 0 to 17 years between 2002 and 2015. Last summer NSW had the highest number of drowning deaths in the country; something that we and other safety organisations are aiming to prevent from happening again.

Kids Health, the Child Health Promotion Unit at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network is promoting a water safety and drowning prevention campaign ‘Kids Can Drown without a Sound’. The campaign aims to raise water safety awareness and encourage families to take appropriate precautions when children are in or near water, with a focus on swimming pools in the home environment.

 Recent research shows that people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and newly arrived to Australia are at higher risk of drowning incidents. This is likely to be due to lack of familiarity with water activity and swimming ability in some people.

To help prevent child drowning:

    1. Have a compliant pool barrier that is used correctly and maintained regularly
  • Adult supervision of children (within arm’s reach) in and around water is essential 
  • Teach children water familiarisation and swimming skills
  • Learn CPR and remember that any attempt is better than none at all

 

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Campaign resources including brochures and posters are available for download in 17 different languages via http://kidshealth.org.au/inflatable-and-portable-pools  under ‘Downloads’ and ‘Available Translations’. Printed copies of these resources in English, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese are available free of charge when you complete the attached order form or via http://kidshealth.org.au/resources-order. The resources were developed after focus testing by NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service.

A free online ‘CPR Training for Parents’ is available to teach parents and carers the skills needed to perform basic CPR on a baby or child. It can be accessed via http://kidshealth.org.au/cpr

Swimming and water familiarisation classes are essential in developing confidence of being in the water. There are a range of both free and paid services which the community can access by contacting their local Council or aquatic centre. Some centres offer sessions for women only.

We have also attached a template newsletter blurb, social media post and images you may wish to publish through your channels.

Your assistance with communicating this important child safety initiative to your clients and contacts is greatly appreciated. For further information, please contact Boshra Awan on (02) 9845 3564 or boshra.awan@health.nsw.gov.au

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Suzanne Wicks

Department Head, Kids Health

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network – Westmead

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