Austswim is encouraging everyone to Take the Water Watcher Pledge, which encourages the aquatic community to do their part to ensure the safety of swimmers in and around the water this summer.
In their 2016/2017 national drowning report, the Australian Royal Life Saving Society notes that 45% of drowning deaths of children aged between 0-4 years were in backyard swimming pools.
Raising awareness of the importance of adult supervision around water is one of the key objectives of the Australian Water Safety strategy, to help reduce the incidence of drowning by 50% by 2020.
Everyone can play a vital role in helping to ensure children are safer in and around water. So, with summer just around the corner, AUSTSWIM is asking the wider community to join in the Water Watcher campaign.
The Water Watcher campaign encourages people to “take the pledge" to guarantee adequate supervision of children in and around water at all times.
THE WATER WATCHER PLEDGE
I am a water watcher.
I will be there, be aware and avoid distractions.
I will appoint a replacement watcher to ensure constant supervision.
AUSTSWIM, the peak body for the training of swimming and water safety teachers, is a member of the Australian Water Safety Council that produced the strategy. According to AUSTSWIM CEO Jennifer Schembri-Portelli, the Water Watcher campaign has the capacity to make a huge difference in preventing potential drowning incidents in Australia, particularly among children, in the coming summer months.
"This is a simple initiative that any adult can commit to when they are near water, and it will save lives," says Jennifer.
"The self-appointed Water Watcher's only job is to keep watch on what's happening in and around the water. They need to let other people answer the doorbell or phone, cook the barbecue or get the drinks.
"Our kids are not waterproof, but if an adult is keeping watch their safety is greatly improved," she adds.
Although the primary role of AUSTSWIM is facilitating the training of professionals in the aquatics industry, the organisation believes the Water Watchers campaign is a great way for its 33,500 licensed and accredited teachers to ‘pay it forward’ to the wider community.
For more information on the Water Watcher Pledge contact AUSTSWIM on 1300 885 529 or visit their website www.austswim.com.au
Check out the AUSTSWIM Facebook page HERE