Keep Watch™ is a public education program of the Society aimed at preventing drowning deaths of children under 5 years of age in all aquatic locations.
For more than 25 years Keep Watch has been educating Australian parents and carers on how to keep their children safe when in, on or around the water.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children 0-4 years of age. Between 2002 and 2019, 507 children under the age of five drowned in Australian waterways. 78% of these deaths were the result of accidental falls into water and over half occurred in home swimming pools.
The Keep Watch program has four key drowning prevention actions that parents and carers of children are encouraged to undertake to prevent children drowning.
These should not be used individually but together to maximize child safety – if one line of defence fails, the other prevention measures will be actively working to prevent your child from drowning.
The Four Key Actions Are:
- Actively supervise children around water. Eyes on. Hands on. Focus all of your attention on your children all of the time, when they are in, on or around the water.
- Restrict children’s access to water. Place a barrier between your child and water. If you can’t create a child safe play area with no water in it.
- Teach children water safety skills. Make sure your child grows up water aware, water familiar and water confident.
- Learn how to respond in case of an emergency. Many children are alive today because their parents knew how to perform CPR and respond quickly.
To date Royal Life Saving has developed three programs targeted at locations with specific aquatic hazards:
- Keep Watch @ The Farm
- Keep Watch @ Bath Time
- Keep Watch @ Public Pools
If you are a community health worker or are interested in educating others on the Keep Watch program please click here to download a print friendly version of the Keep Watch Information Manual.