After a number of drownings over the past week, the Royal Life Saving Society is urging parents to be vigilant when their children are playing around water.
A 23-month-old girl died this week after she was found in her family’s pool in Perth. On Wednesday, a seven-year-old boy drowned when the kayak he was in overturned in a dam.
Royal Lifesaving Society spokesperson Greg Tate said children still require supervision even if they have learned to swim.
“It is very important that parents provide supervision when children in that age group are participating in aquatic activity,” he said.
This post by Anabelle Cottee is a poignant reminder of the importance of water safety. She writes:
Ten years ago, I watched my baby brother’s lifeless body being pulled out of our family swimming pool by my devastated older sister.
I remember standing there, watching in disbelief, as she carried our precious Lachie inside. He was grey with blue lips and completely limp. There was no pulse. No heartbeat.
My sister, only 13 at the time, desperately tried to remember the CPR she had learnt in school while Mum called the ambulance. But all she could say was, “Please help me. My baby was in the pool. Please, please help me.”
My sister cleared Lachie’s airways and he immediately began vomiting torrents of water. But he still wasn’t breathing. Time stopped. Mum’s fingers pressed furiously on Lachie’s chest as she took instructions from the 000 operator over the phone. We finally heard three ambulances scream up the driveway, just as Lachie quietly gasped his first breath. A horde of paramedics rushed in, moving us away from him.
An officer positioned a mask over Lachie’s face. He scooped up my limp brother, and placed him in the back of an ambulance. Mum followed in front of another one – she wasn’t allowed to be with him. My siblings and I stayed at home.
Then there was silence.
I slumped to the ground, wondering how something like this could happen to my beautiful two-year-old brother. We had all been with him all afternoon, cheering him on as he managed to swim a few metres in between my mother and sister without his floaties.
Mum had been with him the whole time. How could this have happened?
We later found out that Lachie, determined as he still is, had let himself back into the pool that afternoon through the faulty pool gate without any of us knowing. We guess he had wanted to practice his swimming again. Mum had dressed and bathed him, and left him sitting with my other siblings who were watching a movie while she cooked dinner.