Fiori Giovanni is joining the Kidsafe Ambassador Program, to share her experience of losing her young daughter in a bathtub drowning and help educate other parents in ways to prevent such devastating incidents.
Fiori’s seven month old daughter, Illen, drowned at home in the family bath tub in 2020.
Kidsafe Victoria CEO Melanie Courtney said Kidsafe Victoria exists to empower families to avoid the unintentional death or injury of children at home, during play and on the go, and to support families who have been forever impacted by them.
“No one ever believes they will be the one that something like this happens to. Parents like Fiori have powerful lived experiences to share, which can help create awareness, empower others and ultimately change behaviour, and save children’s lives” Ms Courtney said.
“Kidsafe Victoria is proud to work with Fiori to raise awareness of preventable injury and educate the families and carers how to keep their kids safe, particularly in the area of drowning. Fiori’s tragic experience in losing Illen may help save other lives.
“Drowning continues to be one of the leading causes of unintentional death for Australian children under five years of age – twenty seconds and a few centimetres of water is all it takes for a toddler to drown.” Ms Courtney said.
The Royal Life Saving Australia’s National Drowning Report shows that 25 children under five drowned in 2020-21 – more than double than in the previous year. Eight toddlers drowned in swimming pools, seven in lakes and dams and five in bathtubs and spas. Inadequate supervision is a key risk factor in these deaths.
Fiori fled Eritrea to escape life as a child soldier and arrived in Australia as a refugee. “I didn’t know enough about water safety,” Ms Giovanni said. “I want to do everything I can now to try and prevent other parent’s experiencing this loss.”
“My daughter’s passing has shattered my life and I feel responsible for what happened. I am still grieving, my tears for Illen still flow.”
“I had no idea that a child could drown in just a few centimetres of water,” Ms Giovanni said. “I know now I should never have left my child unsupervised in a bath, even for a second. I have since learned of other families who have lost children to drowning in baths, fishponds and even pet bowls.”
Ms Giovanni said she was grateful for the support Kidsafe Victoria had provided her and working with other parents was helping her come to terms with her loss.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.