Article by Andrew Taylor, SMH.

Drownings have doubled among young children, reversing a slow decline in
the number of toddlers who have lost their lives from drowning amid fears
more time at home during lockdown may have contributed.

Data from the Royal Life Saving Australia’s National Drowning Report
shows that 25 children aged 0-4 years drowned in 2020-21 – a 108 per
cent increase on the previous year.

“Prolonged periods of stay-at-home directives while working and schooling
from home is challenging for parents and carers, increasing the likelihood
of distractions around the home environment and lapses in child
supervision,” the report said. Eight toddlers drowned in swimming pools in

“Twenty seconds and a few centimetres of water is all it takes for a toddler
to drown,” Kidsafe Victoria chief executive Melanie Courtney said.

“Despite significant reductions in toddler drowning deaths over time,
drowning continues to be one of the leading causes of accidental death for
Australian children under five years of age,” she said.

Stacey Pidgeon, national manager of research and policy at Royal Life
Saving Australia, said a child’s risk of drowning triples when they turn one.
“Lack of adequate supervision is a key risk factor for drowning in this age

Ms Pidgeon also said there were eight non-fatal drowning incidents for
every death among children aged 0-4 years – the highest fatal to non-fatal
drowning ratio of any age group.

Boys accounted for 61 per cent of all drownings and two-thirds of fatalities
occurred among children aged 1-2 years.


Categories: Pool Safety

John Denoon

I founded Pool Certification Sydney to offer price-competitive consultations, inspections and certification of residential and strata managed pools and spas over the greater Sydney metro areas.