A public pool like Noarlunga leisure Centre offers casual swimmers, families, groups and the broader community a fun environment that is also relatively safe by virtue of the constant supervision of a professional lifeguard. However, a small minority of parents view this supervision as a drown proofing measure for their child and thereby are complacent in supervising their child closely. All to often, the result of that is a lifeguard entering the water to retrieve a small child that has gotten into trouble.
This concern has been voiced and shared across the recreation and aquatic industry for some time and is the reason why the Watch Around Water campaign was created.
Primarily, Watch Around Water is aimed at educating the public about adequate supervision and to encourage parent/guardians to take on this responsibility when visiting a public aquatic facility.
‘Watch Around Water’ has been successfully implemented in facilities throughout Australia, including numerous facilities in SA such as, State Aquatic Centre, Unley, Burnside, Payneham, Waterworld, Elizabeth Aquadome & now here at Noarlunga Leisure Centre.
The aim of the 'Watch Around Water' program is to encourage parents to actively supervise their children by:
Always being within arm's reach
Never turning their back
Always watching what their child is doing
There is often a misconception by parents that the supervision of young children is the sole responsibility of lifeguards. With the large numbers of families attending pools and aquatic facilities, it is unrealistic for parents to expect that lifeguards can keep an eye on everyone all the time.
Facilities that deliver the 'Watch Around Water' program will be displaying the 'Endorsed Centre' logo and will be adhering to the following guidelines as a minimum.
Safer Swimming Guidelines
Children under 10 years must be accompanied into the centre, and constantly supervised while in the centre at all times.
Children under 5 years must be constantly supervised within arms reach while in the centre at all times.
Unsupervised children will be removed from the water
The biggest change that parents who swim at Noarlunga Leisure Centre with their children will notice is that children under the age of 5 will be asked to wear a wrist band making them easily identifiable to Lifeguards. Furthermore, parents attending the Centre with children under this age will be expected to enter the water with their child.
Noarlunga Leisure Centre has an enviable safety record and with the addition of the Watch Around Water initiative to it's overall risk management strategy, is confident this record will remain strong well into the future.
A minority of parents believe leisure facilities such as Noarlunga Leisure Centre are a cheap child minding service thereby putting their children at risk! So Noarlunga Leisure Centre and the aquatic industry are setting about educating the public about the importance of direct supervision around water in public pools.
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