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Parents urged to be active to prevent summer drownings

Queensland Child Protection Week award winner Katherine Plint.
Queensland Child Protection Week award winner Katherine Plint. Rae Wilson

THE Laidley parents of a little girl who drowned in their backyard pool six years ago are urging parents to place supervision and barriers at the forefront of their minds this summer.

Mother Katherine Plint said October 4, the day she lost her 34-month-old Hannah in 2007, had become a national drowning prevention day to raise awareness of these tragedies and highlight safety messages.

The Hannah's Foundation founder said as the weather heated up, it was important to remember even children who knew how to swim could drown.

She said parents must supervise with their eyes, because ears would not detect drowning.

Mrs Plint said ensuring pool gates were not propped open and fences were well maintained was another key message.

"It is very clear to the many families out there who have lost a loved one that drowning is silent and kills," she said.

"Don't sit by the pool or beach on the phone or reading a book or even sleeping while sunbaking.

"Active eyes on at all times is the only saver of lives.

"Pools and inland water ways and the ocean are all different water environments.

"Just because you can complete a 25m swim in the backyard pool doesn't mean you are capable of handling every type of water hazard."

Hannah's Foundation is asking people to put their hands up for drowning prevention as part of its every-day hero campaign and donate as little as $5.

The foundation raises money to help families with counselling and to help in coronial inquests.

To donate, visit www.everydayhero.com.au/event/drowningprevention or deposit into BSB: 704 052 Account: 1035885. Donations over $2 are tax deductible.

SUMMER DROWNING PREVENTION WARNINGS

  1. Supervise all swimmers of every age.
  2. Ensure pool gates are not propped open, ensure gate/fences are maintained and are compliant to the current pool safety state legislation.
  3. Educate everyone on the dangers of long breath holding games in the water and drinking and drowning.
  4. When in inland or ocean waters wear a life jacket.
  5. Have EPIRB beacons and lifejackets when on the boat and ensure all passengers and skippers are equipped with knowledge of safety procedures.

Topics:  drownings hannah's foundation laidley safety message


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