LIFE Saving Victoria (LSV) is urging all parents and carers to watch children around water during this period of hot weather.
With temperatures forecast in the high 20s and 30s recently, many families will head to Victoria’s waterways to cool off.
LSV acting operations manager Kane Treloar said 20 seconds was all it took for a child to drown.
“Further, for every toddler who drowns another 10 are hospitalised, some left with permanent disabilities.
It’s paramount to always supervise children closely around water, with children under five years of age within arms’ reach, and children under 10 years of age within supervisor’s line of sight.”
“If you have a home swimming pool, make sure you restrict access to water, ensure your pool/ spa fence is compliant, and never leave pool gates propped open.”
Officers from Victoria Police have received a number of reports of missing children on the beach in the past few weeks, with many children getting lost in large crowds and being at high risk near the water.
“If you are taking your children for a day at the beach, make sure you are properly prepared and aware,” Mr Treloar said.
“Rips are the number one beach hazard for swimmers. Learning how to identify and avoid a rip current is essential for beachgoers. You can learn about rips at beachsafe.org.au.
“It’s time now to draw the line. When you get to the beach, stop to check for rips, look for other dangers, and plan how to stay safe.
your child if they got into trouble. If not, don’t put them in danger – head to a patrolled location or pool with lifeguards
LSV is also asking beachgoers to check warnings and read up on beach water safety in the preparedness section of emergency.vic.gov.au, as well as keeping across weather conditions at bom.gov.au/vic.
“The message this season is to be prepared before a day at the beach, and that includes researching the beach you’ll be going to – not all are suitable to swim at, especially for those with limited surf education or swimming ability,” Mr Treloar said.