Drowning is a major cause of death for children.

The surest way to prevent children drowning is to supervise them at all times when they are in or near the water.

Child drownings can best be prevented by following the three Steps to Home Safety:

Step One: Spot the Hazard

In looking for hazards which could lead to the drowning of a child follow the basic strategy for spotting hazards:

Think about the following objects that could lead to a drowning in your home:

Step Two: Assess the Risk

Whenever you Spot a Hazard - STOP AND THINK - ask yourself:

Think about the following strategies for dealing with water hazards for children:

  • Telephone calls, either incoming or outgoing
  • Doorbells
  • Something cooking, overheating, etc.
  • The laundry you have to remove, etc.
  • Another child making a mess, crying, falling, etc.
  • Other children fighting, running, etc.
  • The other child's diaper you go to change.
  • The other child you have to give a bottle to.
  • The other child you are feeding.
  • The pet that causes a mess, runs around, gets in a fight or wants to go out or come in.

  • DON'T GET LAZY OR COMPLACENT.  It's not enough that you emptied the wading pool last time after it rained -- the danger is there again.

  • KEEP A CHECKLIST AND GO OVER IT ON A REGULAR BASIS.  If pilots with twenty years of experience can do it several times a day, you can do it once a month!

REMEMBER: Telling people about a hazard is not sufficient on its own. Somebody must take responsibility to reduce or eliminate it. If nothing else is going to work, you might have to get rid of the hazardous item altogether.


Make sure you have a list in a prominent place near your phone showing phone numbers such as:

  • EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
  • Ambulance
  • Fire Department
  • Police
  • Poisons Information Service
  • Family doctor
  • Neighbor with a car

Step Three - Make the Changes Quickly

Once you have spotted a water safety hazard and decided the best way to deal with it . . . DON'T DELAY !

Make the changes as soon as possible before somebody does get harmed. Children can be drowned in water hazards that have been around for a long time.

If you ignore a hazard long enough, it may seem to go away. In reality, it becomes even more dangerous because people forget it's there.

People, and especially children, are not safe until they are separated from the hazard. You will feel safer, others in the house will be more relaxed, and children will play more safely when hazards have been isolated or removed.

This child safety information is based on Kidsafe Australia materials.


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