Perils around the pool
I write to highlight that drowning remains one of the leading causes of accidental death of children aged 0 to four years old.
Although there has been a significant reduction in the rate of drowning among toddlers, at Royal Life Saving we will not stop campaigning until the number of deaths is zero.
Our latest research sadly reveals 965 children aged 0 to 4 years drowned in Australia between July 1993 and 30th June 2018.
A lapse in adult supervision was the major risk factor in 100 per cent of toddler drowning deaths.
Active supervision is the best protection against child drowning. With the warmer weather approaching, many families and children will be spending time around the pool and other waterways to cool off.
Please actively supervise children at all times when they are around water. Stay close and within arm’s reach.
Swimming pools are the leading location for drowning among children aged 0 to 4 years. They account for 52 per cent of all deaths.
Faulty latches and hinges or propped open gates are the primary risk factors in home pool drowning deaths of young children.
We urge people to regularly check their pool fence and gate to ensure they are in full working order, and we want to remind you to never prop the pool gate open.
It can take just a few moments for a child to slip away unnoticed, fall into the water and drown.
Drowning is often quick and silent. This is why it is critical people keep watch at all times.
Distractions like browsing social media on your phone, attending to another child or going inside to grab something can have tragic consequences if a toddler is left unattended by water.
Preventing drowning requires multiple layers of protection; you must actively supervise children around water, restrict access, teach water awareness and learn resuscitation.
Please visit www.keepwatch.com.au for more information and resources.
We can all play a role in preventing tragedies.
J. Scarr, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia
Tafe cuts bite
Last week the Morrison Government is seeking praise for putting some money back into the apprentice system that has been savaged by Coaliton Government cuts.
After cutting $3 billion in the sector, the $60 million announcement doesn’t come within a bulls roar of repairing the damage.
With skills shortages on the rise they’ve finally realised there’s only so much you can cut before the labour market chokes, and the public gets fed up.
These cuts have resulted in courses being cut, fees being hiked and entire TAFEs closing down.
Quite simply, this bush wage announcement is an attempt to hide another example of the Government failing regional Australia.
Labor understands the importance of vocational education, both in providing work opportunities and vital skills, particularly in regional Australia.
Labor will provide $100 million to the Building TAFE for the Future Fund to revitalise campuses across Australia, waive upfront fees for 100,000 TAFE students - including 10,000 for early childhood educators - and one in 10 Commonwealth-funded jobs will be filled by an Australian apprentice.
Within the first 100 days of being elected, a Shorten-Labor government will also establish a once in a generation inquiry into the post-secondary education system to ensure we have the infrastructure and teachers to train the workforce Australia needs.
It matters to all Australians, but nowhere more than in regional Australia where a TAFE revival is long overdue.