Local lifeguards renew calls for parents and carers to keep watch

Local lifeguards are reminding parents and carers to put their phones away while at the pool this swim season.

Royal Life Saving Australia statistics show that a lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer is a contributing factor in 70% of all drowning deaths at public pools.

Parkes Shire Pool Coordinator, Nikki Thornhill said parents and carers need to practice 'active supervision' this summer, not only at the pool but all waterways.

"Active supervision means focusing all of your attention on your children all of the time, when they are in, on or around the water," Nikki said.

"Getting into the habit of putting the phone away when near the water could potentially save a life."

"Depending on your child’s age, you may even need to be in the water and within arms’ reach at all times."

Nikki added that parents often forget to keep watch when their children are participating in Learn to Swim lessons.

"You witness with excitement your child's first steps, first words and first day of school. So why wouldn't you want to witness your child's first time going under the water, or completing their first unassisted swim, or returning to the edge unassisted safely for the first time."

"These are some of the huge progression points in your child's swimming, so you don't want to miss them."

"Children are like sponges, they notice everything that you do. So, we encourage parents to set a good example by practicing active supervision even when your child is with an instructor."

For more information about Royal Life Saving’s Keep Watch campaign talk to one of our friendly lifeguards or visit www.royallifesaving.com.au.