Spectator Diary – Peter CostelloAugust 1, 2009
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BATH TIME DANGERS-WARNING FOR PARENTS
Each year, on average, five Australian children under five years of age drown in bath tubs. Tragically, these children die while their parents are out of the room or distracted for as little as a minute.
In his role as a ‘Keep Watch Ambassador’ for the Royal Life Saving Society, Mr Peter Costello has urged parents to be especially careful at bath time with their babies.
“Sadly, in over 80 per cent of drowning deaths in bathtubs, the child was already bathing when they drowned. So for whatever reason mum and dad have been distracted or called away and that moment of inattention has a terrible cost.
“We know that when children are very young they make lots of noise when they’re tired or hungry or need changing. However drowning is swift and silent and is not accompanied by splashing or crying out.
“I am encouraging parents to go to the Royal Life Saving Society website and download a free bath time safety fact sheet – it might save their child’s life.”
Royal Life Saving Society offers the following bath time tips to parents:
- Before running a bath, have all equipment ready – towels, pyjamas, slippers.
- If you have a mobile phone or cordless phone, bring the phone into the bathroom. Or, better still, let the phone ring and ignore the doorbell while the children are in the bath.
- DO NOT LEAVE the bathroom without taking your child with you at all for any reason.
- Never leave an older child with the responsibility of looking after a younger child.
- After bath time ensure the bath tub is drained immediately and keep the bathroom door closed when not in use.
- Bath seats or bath aids are not substitutes for constant adult supervision.
- Knowing resuscitation is crucial – enrol in a resuscitation class today.
- Introduce your child to water through familiarisation classes.
For further information go to www.keepwatch.com.au