Lifeguard's plea to parents over biggest swimming pool mistake that leads to disaster – The Mirror

A lifeguard has issued potentially life-saving advice to all parents who take their children swimming. There’s a major mistake that parents make despite the safety warnings each year
Parents know that gut-wrenching feeling when you see a toddler running near a swimming pool or hear about a child drowning. While many children are put through swimming lessons at a young age, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in infant and toddler children.
Despite the safety warnings we see every year, lifeguards have revealed that parents are making a big mistake when watching their children swim. A government approved 'Keep Watch' programme is pushing for more protection for children between age four and under – the age group with the highest count of drownings.
The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) – founded in England and now aiding water safety in Australia – has issued some key tips to help keep your children safe around water.
Supervise Actively supervise children around water
Restrict Restrict children's access to water
Teach – Teach children water safety skills
Respond – Learn how to respond in the case of an emergency
The RLSS reports that the drowning risks triples when children turn one and 100 percent of deaths are due to lack or lapse of adult supervision. A spokesperson for the life saving society said: "Royal Life Saving research found that 222 children aged one year have drowned over the past twenty years, equating to 40 percent of all child drowning under the age of five.
"Almost all of these deaths were due to a lack of active adult supervision. For every toddler drowning death approximately eight children are admitted to hospital as a result of non-fatal drowning. Royal Life Saving is asking all parents to Supervise, Restrict, Teach and Respond to keep their children safe around water. Because 'Kids can’t help themselves around water, you need to. Keep Watch.'"
The RLSS added that supervision is the single most important thing you can do to keep your children safe around water. Any distraction is dangerous and puts young children at risk around water. Whether it is a phone or social media use, or carrying out everyday tasks, such as leaving a child unsupervised momentarily to cook, take the rubbish out or collect the washing, these could all affect a child's safety.
Speaking to Kidspot, CEO of Royal Life Saving Australia, Justin Carr, said: "Children are at their most vulnerable to drowning when they start walking, so from around their first birthday. Tragically, we see a huge spike in one-year-olds drowning that doesn't reduce until they children turn four years, by which point many have developed swimming skills."
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