12 Tips of Christmas: Keep children within an arm's reach at the beach
A total of 361 children under the age of 12 were rescued by SLSQ services on Queensland beaches in December 2019 and January 2020.
Concerningly, the majority were rescued swimming outside the flags.*
Lifesaving Services Manager Peta Lawlor is urging all visitors, both local and interstate, to remain watchful of their children when visiting Queensland beaches.
“Our lifesavers and lifeguards do a terrific job patrolling Queensland beaches but it is important to remember they are not babysitters,” she said.
“Our advice when visiting the beach is to swim at patrolled locations between the red and yellow flags; keep a watchful eye on children at all times and have them within an arm’s reach.
“We want all families to enjoy a safe and happy school holiday period.”
Queensland Family and Child Commissioner, Cheryl Vardon echoed SLSQ’s safety messaging and wants families and children to have fun this summer but most importantly be safe around all bodies of water.
“The holidays are always a great time for us to relax and have fun with our loved ones by the water, but we want to make sure everyone stays safe so we can avoid holiday accidents and tragedies,” Ms Vardon said.
“16 children and young people drowned in Queensland in 2018-19 and it remains the leading cause of death for one to four-year olds.
“With so many families expected to flock to beaches, pools and lakes I want to encourage everyone to stay safe, supervise little ones, listen to the instructions of lifesavers, swim between the flags, watch kids in bathtubs and ignore the temptation to dive into lakes, creeks and dams.
SLSQ advises all swimmers this summer to maintain 1.5 metres social distancing when attending the beach.
“She’ll be right, won’t save your life.” Be a legend not a hero this summer by swimming between the red and yellow flags.