Keep Watch comes to Cessnock!
City Council has teamed up with Royal Life Saving NSW to introduce the new
national Keep Watch at Public Pools Water safety awareness program locally.
Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent called it a fantastic initiative to improve children’s water safety through improved parental supervision.
“Figures released by Royal Life Saving Australia show that 34 people drowned in public pools over the past nine years and over half of those who have been injured or drowned are children. In 70% of child drownings the main factor was a lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer.”
“Lifeguards are on duty at our aquatic facilities but they are watching lots of people at the same time. We’re urging all parents and carers to be vigilant and supervise their children during a visit to their local pool and make certain their child is safe.”
The Hunter Regional Manager for Royal Life Saving NSW Tanya Brunckhorst said they want to get the message across that lifeguards are not babysitters.
“Obviously, they are there to help and do all they can. Parents and carers are responsible for the care and supervision of children when they are at a public pool. We need parents to realise that they can’t check their responsibility at the door.”
The Keep Watch at Public Pools program will be implemented this pool season which starts the first weekend of October.
Children aged between 0 to 5 years will be issued a yellow wristband and pool staff will advise that a parent or carer needs to be in the water within an arm’s reach of the child at all times. It is recommended that for a child aged between 6 to 10 years, a parent or carer needs to be actively supervising at all times and dressed ready to enter the water.
Keep Watch at Public Pools is about both parents and Lifeguards working together to keep our children safe. For further information please visit www.royalnsw.com.au.