RACV urges Victorians not to become complacent around water

RACV External Communications

Posted January 27, 2023

RACV is urging Victorians not to become complacent around water as summer continues.

A child can drown within 20 seconds. That’s as long as it takes to send a text, dry yourself with a towel or choose a song on your phone.

Data from the Royal Lifesaving Society of Australia (RLSSA) shows that Victoria currently makes up 18 per cent of the summer drowning toll in Australia*.

RACV’s Head of Home and Business Insurance Kirsty Hayes said there are a number of ways Victorians can keep themselves safe around water as the warmer weather continues.

“It’s crucial that we continue to keep pool safety top of mind – supervise your children around water, prioritise learning about water and restrict access to water by ensuring pools are fenced off with a compliant safety barrier,” said Kirsty.

“In Victoria, any pool containing water 30cm or deeper (including indoor pools, spas, wading pools and above-ground pools) must have a compliant safety barrier with self-closing and self-latching gates and be registered with your local council.

“Home insurance liability cover may be compromised if the legally required fencing is not in place, so it’s essential that you adhere to Victorian pool/spa owner requirements."

By following these summer pool safety tips, you can help keep the whole family safe.

1. Supervise: Keep watch of your child around water. Children under ten should be actively supervised and always be in your sight, with children under five always within arms reach. It’s important to remember that while floating toys and noodles are fun, they can’t be relied upon as safety equipment and some can flip and trap children underwater.

2. Restrict: In addition to ensuring your pool has a compliant safety barrier, make sure you always empty inflatable pools and paddling pools immediately after use. In rural areas, it’s important to restrict a child’s access to water bodies such as dams that cannot be fenced. 

3. Learn: Although water safety has been part of the Victorian education curriculum since 2017, it’s important to learn about water safety well before school. If you’re an adult that hasn’t learnt to swim yet, it’s not too late to enrol yourself in an adult swim class.

*Royal Life Saving Australia National Summer Drowning Toll as at 25 January 2023. 


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