Drowning and water safety

Most children who drown are under four years old. It happens very quickly and quietly.

Most of these children drown in their own or a friend's pool.

Young children can drown in just a few centimetres of water.

Many children are hospitalised and can suffer long-term damage from near-drowning accidents.

Prevent drowning at your home

Stay and watch young children and be at arm's length when they are in or near water.

This includes in the bath, swimming pool or spa, at the beach, and near creeks, rivers and dams.

Don't expect older children to supervise.

Make sure young children can't get to buckets and other containers holding water.

Keep nappy buckets covered and out of reach - the water and chemicals are dangerous for young children.

Empty toddler pools and plastic baths and store them upright.

Pools and spas

Cover backyard ponds with a fixed grill with spaces no bigger than 2.5cm. 

Enrol older children and adults in a first-aid course.

Enrol younger children in an accredited water safety course. Teach your child how to behave in and around water.

Read more about pool safety.

Pipes and drains

Read about the Stay out of Pipes and Drains campaign on the Department of Sport and Recreation website.

More information

For more ideas, activities and tips go to the 7 Steps to Safety page on the Department of Children and Families website.

Last updated: 18 August 2016