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Stay Safe In The Water This Summer

Media Release
21st December, 2007

Stay Safe In The Water This Summer

ACC is urging holiday-makers to take care in the water this summer and to make sure that all children are properly supervised.

“Children drown very quickly and quietly,” said Jen Brown, an ACC Injury Prevention Manager. “On average eight pre-schoolers drown each year, and that’s almost always because of inadequate adult supervision.”

Water Safety New Zealand statistics show that 91 people drowned in 2006, with January traditionally recording the highest number of water deaths due to holiday makers enjoying the water. As at December 20, 97 New Zealanders had drowned in 2007.

And, on average, at least half of those who drowned hadn’t intended to be in the water.

Ms Brown said recreational boating, swimming and fishing related injuries stand out for their frequency and cost.

“Aside from deaths from drowning, about 650 people are hospitalised each year as a result of water-related injuries. Those injuries cover a wide spectrum, ranging from strains, dislocations and fractures through to concussions and spinal injuries,” she said.

Here are some tips to staying safe in and around water this summer:

Pools
• Always keep young children in your care within arm’s reach

Rivers
• Always supervise children around water
• Never swim alone

In boats
• Weather – check the latest marine forecast and tides before you go out
• Life jackets – take the correct sized life jacket for each person on board and wear them
• Communications equipment – always carry two types of working communication equipment. If you can’t contact the rescue services, they can’t rescue you
• Avoid alcohol.

“Cooling off in the water is supposed to be fun and it will be if we all take these simple safety precautions,” Jen Brown said. “Stay safe in the water, avoid injuries, and most importantly, have a fantastic summer.”

ENDS

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