Pool Safety Message Must Be Constantly Repeated

Swimming and other water based activities are major recreational and sporting pastimes in Australia, and everyone who has ever enjoyed our oceans, waterways and pools feels a tinge of sadness when a drowning is reported in the media. Governments and not-for-profit organisations have worked for years to increase water awareness, running regular campaigns and funding learn to swim classes.

Current National Drowning Report Results Disappointing

For a short while, it seemed as though people were getting the message, but the release of the National Drowning Report 2012/2013 shows a disturbing increase in the number of drownings in certain categories. 291 people drowned in the twelve month period from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013, an increase of 5% over the previous year. In the over 55 category, there were 114 deaths and sadly, 31 children under 4 lost their lives in a sharp reversal of a steady downward trend.

Of the total deaths, 238 were males and 53 were females. For males aged 25-34, a combination of alcohol and watercraft were major contributing factors. Being swept off rocks, jumping into rivers from heights and other risk-taking behaviours were higher in this age group than any other. Beaches, lakes, dams and lagoons were the danger areas for the over 55s, with many accidents involving watercraft.

Apart from education there is little that authorities can do when people choose their own actions. However, drowning in swimming pools is completely controllable and this increase is very disappointing, given the actions authorities have taken to regulate them.

Goal is for Every Pool to be Safe and Compliant

61% of all drownings of children under 4 occur in this location. 56% of deaths of children aged 5-14 also occur in this location. These are agonising tragedies that should not be happening if all the rules and regulations are being followed. Maintaining a compliant pool is simply a matter of arranging a qualified and licensed person to undertake the process. Here at Defence Poolsafe we are committed to making every pool compliant so these tragedies do not occur.

Phasing In Period ends in 2015

A mandatory pool safety certificate is required in Queensland with the five-year phasing in period for making pools compliant ending on 30 November 2015. However, homeowners who are non-compliant and wish to sell or lease their property must make it compliant for the sale or lease. These new laws are designed to prevent the terrible statistics already mentioned from continuing, year after year.

While everyone at Defence Poolsafe believes wholeheartedly in everything we are doing to keep our children safe, the sad truth is that an absence of supervision was identified in 94% of the cases of child drownings. We can legislate, build protective barriers and inspect for compliance, but there is no substitute for sharp eyes and constant vigilance.