Nationwide research shows that 461 children under the age of five died due to drowning in Australia over the past 15 years,.
Nationwide research shows that 461 children under the age of five died due to drowning in Australia over the past 15 years,. Royal Life Saving

Urgent call to parents on backyard tragedies

NEW figures show an 'unacceptably high' rate of young children drowning in NSW.

Alarming figures released this week show in the past 15 years, 149 children under five have drowned in NSW. Of the young lives lost, 61% were in private swimming pools.

With 350,000 backyard swimming pools across New South Wales, Royal Life Saving NSW CEO, Michael Ilinsky says it is critical that water safety education begins from a young age.

"Drowning is often quick and silent. It's important for parents and carers to take extra safety precautions and always keep watch," Mr Ilinsky said.

"It only takes a few moments for a young child to slip away unnoticed, fall into the water and drown."

In response to this Royal Life Saving NSW has partnered up with the NSW Government and early childhood experts to develop a suite of educational resources designed to teach water safety messages to young children.

"This new program is a key resource that helps the early childhood sector reinforce safety messages about the aquatic environment for young children and their parents and carers," said Mr Ilinsky.

Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said it is crucial that all young children are aware of the dangers of Australia's waterways.

"We know that the majority of a child's brain development happens when they are young, which is why it is so important that water awareness and safety is embedded in their learning as early as possible.

"Regardless of whether they are from Byron Bay or Bourke, this program will be a wonderful resource for children, families and educators right across the state."



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