Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Preschool Drownings are Preventable

18 January 2006
Media Release

For immediate release

Preschool Drownings are Preventable

Last year nine preschool children (aged 0-5 years) drowned in New Zealand. More than double the toll for 2004. Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) released further comparative analysis of the drowning statistics for 2005 with a statement on the concerning high preschool drowning toll.

Drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death amongst preschool children in New Zealand. Preschool children are consistently being exposed to the dangers of water through a lack of supervision, typically whilst in the home. The bath and home pool are the most “at risk” sites for drowning in this age group.

WSNZ Project Manager Matt Claridge says, ”The major reason for such a devastating drowning toll is a lack of supervision of infants and young children in and around water. It is imperative that caregivers ensure uncompromised care and attention is given while infants and children are at home, whether in the bath, by putting the bucket of soaking clothes on a bench, and making sure all entry points to the swimming pool or spa pool are secure."

Comparison of the preschool drowning toll to that of our Australian counterparts reveals undeniable facts. On a per capita basis (per 100,000 population) twice as many preschool children drown in New Zealand than Australia.

Claridge continues “this is startling when we all know that the climate in Australia is more conducive to being around water, we know for certain that there are far more home pools than in New Zealand, but year after year the cold hard truth about our aquatic culture is revealed. New Zealand parents are not supervising their children around water, especially when at home.”

On average 11 preschool children drown every year (last five years) in New Zealand. The number that have drowned in home pools has declined and with the work being undertaken to develop a Pool Safety Standard there appears to be a consistent engineering approach to preventing drownings in this area. Water safety experts and Plunket are still confused as to why parents continue to leave their children unattended in the bath or under the supervision of young siblings.

Claridge states “WSNZ is committed to reducing drownings in the preschool age group by targeting parents with the unique supervision messages specific to water, as well as further developing Early Childhood Education kits to be available in Kohanga Reo and Early Childhood Centres. All preschool drownings are preventable. Why do we continue to accept these tragedies as accidents?”

WSNZ has further invested in a professional development tool for swim instructors ensuring that they are best equipped to work with the developmental needs of preschool children. The value of Infant and Preschool Water Confidence lessons for young children to explore and discover the water along with learning valuable water safety skills is immeasurable. WSNZ encourages all parents to be involved with their children in the water for both the development of core life skills and enjoyment.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news