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Bathtub near drowning - A safety reminder

Samuel Morris Foundation Managing Director, Michael Morris, said “the near drowning of a four year old girl in a bath in suburban Melbourne is a reminder that half of all drowning deaths in the 0-4 year age group occur in places other than backyard swimming pools, including bathtubs, rivers, creeks, ponds or other water sources”

Michael Morris said “the safety messages for preventing bathtub drownings are the same as the messages for preventing drowning in backyard pools, they are:

  • Supervision – children aged 0-4 should be supervised around any water sources, including during bath time, they should not be left alone to play in the bath
  • Effective Barriers – children should be restricted from access to full bathtubs, or any other source of water. Keep bathroom doors closed
  • Water Familiarisation – Bath time can and should be fun, but children should be taught not to go near water sources, including full baths, without a parent present.
  • Knowledge of CPR – knowing CPR and first aid may well be the difference between life and death if the unimaginable happens.

Michael Morris said “It is a sad reality that for every child who dies as a result of drowning another four are admitted to hospital following near drownings and one fifth of those will be left with a brain injury that results in disabilities for life. As the parent of a child who is one of those left severely disabled as a result of near drowning, and as Managing Director of Australia’s only charity supporting children disabled by near drownings or other hypoxic brain injuries we know only too well the difficulties faced by near drowning survivors and their families, and the impact that these events have on the children’s wider community. ”

Jo-ann Morris said “we are trying to give every parent a wakeup call. All toddler drownings can be prevented. My son could be a normal little 5 year old that would now be a quarter of the way through Kindergarten, having fun, running, playing, exploring, learning and growing. This is not so, he is trying to teach others to be aware of water safety and its dangers. We don’t want what has happened to us to happen to another child and to devastate another family.”

Michael and Jo-ann Morris said “We also encourage anyone who has been touched by a child drowning death or near drowning experience to get in touch with the Samuel Morris Foundation to assist in building a network of people with similar experiences to support other families in similar circumstances, and to help continue to educate others about the importance of water safety”

Photo by Krikit

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