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Kidsafe Victoria Supports the Victorian Government’s Proposed Changes to Pool and Spa Barrier Laws

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’

Kidsafe Victoria Supports the Victorian Government’s Proposed Changes to Pool and Spa Barrier Laws

Kidsafe Victoria has welcomed the proposed changes to the State’s pool and spa barrier laws which were announced today by the Minister for Planning, The Hon Richard Wynne.

As part of the proposed regulatory changes:

  • A mandatory register will be established including all household pools and spas across the state.
  • A mandatory inspection regime will be implemented, seeing all pools and spas inspected as frequently as once every three years.
  • A certificate of compliance will be required at point of sale or lease of a property.

Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, said that Kidsafe Victoria supported the introduction of the proposed regulatory changes.

“Kidsafe Victoria, together with other industry stakeholders, have been campaigning over a number of years for the introduction of measures including a mandatory pool and spa register and mandatory pool and spa barrier inspection system”, said Mr Chambers.

“The introduction of measures such as these, in combination with existing education efforts, are vital to effectively reduce the rate of childhood drowning in home pools and spas in Victoria.”

The Government will introduce the regulatory overhaul into Parliament in June, with the new register and inspection regime expected to be in place by the 2018 summer season.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under 5 years of age. Statistics from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s National Drowning Report show that in 2016/17, 29 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned. The majority of these drowning incidents (45%) occurred in backyard swimming pools.

While pool and spa barriers play an important role in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, Kidsafe Victoria is reminding the public that nothing can replace active adult supervision of children in and around water.

“Children drown quickly and silently. Together with a compliant pool barrier, it is important that children are always actively supervised by an adult when in and around water to help keep them safe. For toddlers, this means an adult being within arm’s reach at all times”, said Mr Chambers.

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign

Kidsafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign raises awareness about the need to regularly check and maintain pool and spa barriers, providing pool and spa owners with a call to action to do so at the beginning of daylight saving each year.

The campaign also focuses on other important aspects of child water safety, including the importance of supervision, first aid/CPR and water familiarisation and swimming lessons for children.

More information about the campaign, including a pool and spa safety checklist, can be accessed via https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/water-safety/pool-fence-safety.


Almost 500 Victorian Children Treated in Hospital Annually for Farm Injuries

Kidsafe Victoria has released the results of its Farm Safety Creative Competition, an initiative aimed at preventing the number of serious injuries on farms which are responsible for almost ten Victorian children per week being treated in hospital.

Farm Safety Creative Competition Video: First Year 5 – 6

The Farm Safety Creative Competition, which was supported by WorkSafe Victoria, invited primary school aged children throughout the State to create a video, illustrated story or poster on the theme ‘staying safe on the farm’. Kidsafe Victoria General Manager, Jason Chambers said statistics from the Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit show that in 2015/16, 491 Victorian children aged 0-14 years were treated in hospital for an injury that occurred on a farm. “Common injury hazards for children on farms include machinery, vehicles (e.g. tractors and motorbikes), animals, water hazards (e.g. dams, rivers, creeks and animal drinking troughs) and poisons (e.g. pesticides)”, said Mr Chambers.

“Farms typically combine the family home and an industrial workplace, which means children are exposed to a wide range of hazards that aren’t present in urban home environment.” Mr Chambers said that being aware of potential injury hazards and measures that can be put in place to reduce the risk is not only vital for families that live on farms, but also those who are visiting a farm. This is particularly pertinent with Easter and the upcoming school holidays when many families may be visiting relatives on a farm or staying on a rural property.

Farm Safety prep g1

Winner of the Prep – Grade 1 Poster

The winning competition entries will be used as part of a month long social media campaign through Kidsafe Victoria’s Facebook page, to raise awareness of the various child injury hazards that exist on farms and practical strategies that can be employed to reduce the risks.

To view the winning entries in the Farm Safety Creative Competition please visit https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/home-safety/farm- safety-creative-competition.


Wyndham City and Kidsafe Victoria Partner to Keep Local Children Safe

WyndhamCityCouncilKidsafe Victoria and Wyndham City have announced a new partnership in a bid to increase community awareness of unintentional childhood injuries and their prevention.

Injury is the leading cause of death for Australian children aged 1-14 years. Every year in Victoria, approximately 19 children aged 0-14 years die and over 100,000 are treated in hospital as a result of unintentional injuries.

The partnership between Wyndham City and Kidsafe Victoria will see the implementation of a range of programs and activities across the next 12 months, including community child car restraint checking sessions, child restraint information sessions and quarterly community awareness campaigns focusing on issues such as children left unattended in cars, driveway safety and backyard pool safety.

Wyndham City’s Family Friendly Portfolio Holder, Cr Mia Shaw, said children’s safety was one of the Council’s top priorities.

“As parents, we all like to think that we take good care of our children. We just want to ensure they are safe wherever they are 24 hours a day,” Cr Shaw said.

“As the holder of the Family Friendly City portfolio holder I’m excited to launch this partnership to raise awareness and spread messages about child injury prevention to all parents, carers and service providers in our community.”

“Given Wyndham’s growth, with more families moving into our City, this is a very important issue that we need to raise awareness of.”

“The campaign will focus on pool safety, not leaving children in cars, child restraint and driveway safety.”

“It will also see an extensive engagement program with our community, including signage, social media, and information sessions.”

Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, welcomed the partnership saying that Kidsafe Victoria were proud to be working with Wyndham City to empower the local community.

‘The direct action by Wyndham City is a major step in supporting the local community and the efforts of Kidsafe Victoria to reduce rates of unintentional childhood injury’, said Mr Chambers.

The first activity of the partnership is a free community child restraint checking session which is taking place at the Tarneit Community Open Day on Saturday 25th November. For more information on the event, please visit https://www.wyndham.vic.gov.au/whats-on/tarneit-community-open-day.


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