The Importance of Active Adult Supervision
Do you know what active adult supervision means when it comes to swimming, and the important role this plays in child drowning prevention?
According to Royal Life Saving Australia’s latest National Drowning Report, 281 people drowned in Australian waterways between the beginning of July 2022 and end of June 2023. Several hundred additional non-fatal drowning incidents are estimated to have occurred, often requiring hospitalisation and leading to life limiting disabilities.
Most fatal drownings in young children aged 0-4 years occurred in swimming pools and bathtubs. While the number of drownings has decreased 33% below the 10-year average, this group remains a priority focus to maintain a consistent downward trend. As summer is well on its way, keeping water safety at front of mind is paramount while enjoying time in and around water.
We want to ensure that these drownings decrease each year by educating our members and community of the dangers of unsupervised swimming. All children and weak or non-swimmers should have constant adult supervision from parents or carers when in and around water. Active adult supervision means having eyes on the children or persons in your care, at all times whilst swimming or in and around water. This also means removing or ignoring distractions such as digital devices including mobile phones, and minimising discussion with others, which could cause a lapse in supervision.
While we do have lifeguards prepared for extreme circumstances, it is important that parents and guardians are fully aware of what their children are doing at all times. Parents and guardians should also be on the lookout for areas of water that cannot be properly supervised, such as water with a glared surface, too much shade, or are out of sight. These factors can prevent you from seeing what is going on in and underneath the water, therefore leading to an increased risk of accidents.
Be sure to familiarise yourself with our Aquatic Supervision guidelines to understand the different levels of supervision required by different age groups and learn some helpful tips for keeping watch.