Pool Drownings: Protect your Children Against the Silent Killer

floating device in pool

As temperatures hike in the Australian summer, unfortunately so can the rate of drownings – especially for children in pool areas. Poor poolside safety combined with a lack of basic CPR knowledge has the potential to turn a beautiful summer’s day into an absolute tragedy. The saddest part of this is that most drownings are preventable.

Be proactive this season. There are nationally accredited first aid training courses readily available across New South Wales, featuring life-saving lessons for emergency situations, such as how to perform child CPR. Right now it’s within your power to spend a small amount of time learning the vital first aid and CPR skills needed to save a drowning person’s life, or prevent the situation altogether!


If you have a pool at your property you are in a very important position. It is your responsibility to ensure the pool area is secure and safe for young children, constantly acting as the unofficial umpire of the pool!

To safety-proof your pool for the swimming season, adult supervisors should:

  1. Check pool gates automatically close – never prop gates open!
  2. Check all surrounding fences are secure
  3. Ensure all outdoor furniture is a minimum of 1 metre away from the pool fence
  4. Scan to see if any item could be used by a child to climb over the pool fence– kids are crafty!


Child drownings are horrific events and are generally preventable, making the whole situation even more soul-destroying. If you are a parent, grandparent, older sibling, aunty, uncle, babysitter or family friend – we recommend you take safety into your own hands by the poolside, wherever possible. 

ALWAYS supervise children in a pool area and follow these vital safety steps:

  • Never assume someone else is watching your children – it’s on you
  • Show kids how to hold on to the pool edge when swimming to access a step to safety
  • Don’t sit there on your smartphone – it’s a proven life-threatening distraction!
  • Alcohol and pools don’t mix – the supervisor should never be under the influence of any substance
  • Never assume a crowded pool is a safe pool – drownings are just as common in this busy environment
  • Maintain visibility of the pool, as you won’t hear someone drowning – it’s silent.

As a parent or guardian, you can boost your children’s awareness of safe swimming by getting them in the water as young as possible. And as an adult, you can also boost the chances of saving their life (or the life of another child) by learning CPR techniques through our nationally recognised CPR course, or by completing a first aid delivery course. Refreshing your CPR knowledge isn’t so much a heroic thing to do, but a stupid thing not to do!

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Vital First Aid is a dynamic Registered Training Organisation specialising in providing accredited practical training in all facets of first aid and pre-hospital care.

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