Joint media release: Drowning Prevention Auckland and Auckland Swimming Association 

It’s not rocket science; preventing your child from drowning is as simple as putting your device away and focusing your attention on them, say Drowning Prevention Auckland and Auckland Swimming Association in a call out to families making plans for the long weekend.

“In the seconds it takes for you to post on Facebook or Instagram, tragedy could strike.”

Seven children aged under five years drowned in New Zealand last year, more than double the previous year, and sadly all too preventable.

“Children are attracted to water and whether it’s pool, beach or bath, the number one solution is active supervision by an adult at all times,” says Davin Bray, Chief Executive, Drowning Prevention Auckland.

“For under-5s that means being within sight and reach, without distraction, and for older ones knowing where they are and what they are doing,” adds Brett Green, Chief Executive Officer, Auckland Swimming Association.

“At social gatherings around water we suggest having a responsible adult actively on duty as the ‘water watcher’ while others are busy with organising food or other activities and no, that’s not the lifeguard’s job.”

Being able to see where older children are, what the water is doing and how to prevent them getting in to difficulty in the first place, will also help avoid a repeat of recent drownings as result of attempted rescues by parents.

Swimming lessons can give parents a false sense of security, even competent swimmers can get in to difficulty, says Brett.

“If faced with this situation, we urge anyone to take the time to assess the risks and their own level of water competency, and only enter the water if they have some form of flotation with them.”

To date, Auckland has had a drowning free 2018, and that’s the way Drowning Prevention Auckland and Auckland Swimming Association would like it to stay.

For further information and interviews:

Davin Bray
Chief Executive
Drowning Prevention Auckland
M: 021 681 503
E: davin.bray@dpanz.org.nz

Brett Green
Chief Executive Officer
Auckland Swimming Association
M: 021 553 233