The 2016 launch of the Watch Around Water Program was held at the Beatty Park on the 15th of December to coincide with the beginning of the summer school holidays. Launches and promotional days were held across the state to promote the program.
Industry research and focus groups identified parental distraction caused by the use of technology as a dangerous emerging trend. This summer LIWA Aquatics members throughout Western Australia will be encouraging patrons visiting their centres with young children to put down their phones and focus on safety.


Darren, Peter, Kelly Nick and Michael supporting the launch

A new campaign highlighting the dangers of being distracted when supervising children around the water will be run in an effort to prevent childhood drowning and aquatic injury. Children remain at the highest risk of drowning and injury. Last year almost half of the injuries recorded at public swimming pool facilities in Western Australia involved children under 14 years of age.
Watch Around Water Program Manager Lauren Nimmo says "more education is needed to ensure that parents are aware of their supervision responsibilities while visiting these facilities with young children. Even though lifeguards are on duty, parents still have a crucial role to play in keeping children safe."
The Watch Around Water program has been promoting safe supervision messages at public swimming pools throughout Western Australia for over a decade, and as a result there has been a significant shift in patron behaviour. Jeff Fondacaro – President, Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics says "The Watch Around Water program has been critical to ensuring that our public swimming pools remain safe for the community. While we have seen a steady improvement in the level of parental supervision at our facilities, we are also seeing a disturbing trend in the number of parents distracted by their mobile phones. We need to change this behaviour quickly to ensure that our pools remain safe."


Lauren and Tony with the new resources

The most common factor contributing to childhood drowning is a lapse in adult supervision. Lauren Nimmo says, "it doesn't take long for tragedy to occur. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and any distraction, even if only for a moment to check your mobile phone, places them at risk."
"Parents need to be mindful of the potential for unnecessary distraction while supervising children, especially around the water, and smart phones with streaming technology pose a real and growing danger as a source of distraction. It is our hope that this new campaign will alert caregivers to the possible distractions, the risks for injury and the potential consequences of a monetary lapse in supervision."

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Contact LIWA

ABN:  35 334 789 538

We provide support, professional development and networking opportunities for individuals in the aquatic industry throughout Western Australia.

  1. PO Box 726, Hillarys, WA 6923
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