Water presents a potentially life threatening hazard for young children in and around the home and in the wider community. Statistics show preschool children have one of the highest drowning rates of all New Zealanders.
However, given the right opportunities and with encouragement, your child can become both confident and competent in the water.
Think about safety first!
Safety is of critical importance as children are introduced to water play and later when they learn to swim.
[warning]Always supervise children near water – ALWAYS![/warning]
Supervision without any distractions is the single most important precaution you can take. Children learn by exploring their environment. New adventures are only a few steps away. Parents know from experience how quickly children can do something unexpected. Proper supervision in and around water means a responsible adult keeping young children in their care both WITHIN SIGHT and WITHIN REACH.
Almost half of all pre-school drownings in New Zealand occur in a home pool. This is most frequently at the child’s own home or when visiting a friend or relative. Are you familiar with the law on fencing of home pools?
If you are unsure of your obligations under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, check with your local council. But remember, even if your pool fencing does fully comply with the act, you still have to remain alert.
[important] Ensure that:
[warning]Watching your child near water means having your full attention on your child and not doing anything else at that time.[/warning]