All we want for Christmas

Is for Aucklanders to prioritise safety of self and others around water so no family has to face losing a loved one to drowning this Christmas.   

Swimming, fishing, picnics, camping, boating, or splashing in the backyard pool – they’re all typical Kiwi summer holiday activities which invariably involve water of some kind, it’s in our DNA, says Drowning Prevention Auckland Chief Executive Davin Bray.

“The water is our playground but one which has the potential to be deadly, he says, especially for our young children.”

Five children under the age of six have drowned in Auckland in the past 12 months, all preventable said Mr Bray, and we don’t want that number to increase.

As families prepare their holiday activities we urge them to think about the little things that can help keep themselves, their whanau and friends, safer in, on and around water.

“Most of all, think active supervision of young children at all times around water,” he adds.

“Being on your phone or reading a book is not active supervision, he says. You need to be within sight and reach, ready to respond at any time.”

Other important tips for a safe summer around water:

  • If there is a portable pool lurking under the Christmas tree, it may require fencing and ideally should be emptied when not in use. Also empty all paddling pools after use.
  • During social gatherings and holiday activities it is easy to lose track of who is looking after the children. Have strategies in place to ensure they are being actively supervised and how to cope in an emergency if you are on your own.
  • If you are heading away for the holidays, do a little homework before you go to familiarise yourself with the environment and potential risks.
  • Heading to the beach? Choose one patrolled by lifeguards and swim between the flags.
  • Know your limits: don’t under-estimate the risks or your own ability to cope with those risks.
  • Know the 4Rs – safe ways of rescuing others without putting your own life at risk.

For further information and interviews:

Davin Bray
Chief Executive, Drowning Prevention Auckland
P: 021 681 503