Keep Watch

Keep Watch

The Action

Keep Watch is a child drowning prevention program aimed at parents and carers of children aged 0-4 years.

Drowning happens quickly and silently and the impact on families can be devastating. Children aged 0 to 4 years are at high risk of drowning. Young children are naturally curious and attracted to water but do not yet understand the concept of danger.

Strategies for the prevention of child drowning are well understood and include active adult supervision, restricting a child’s access to water, often using correctly installed and regularly maintained pool fencing, teaching children water awareness and learning resuscitation techniques.

Keep Watch is aimed at preventing children aged 0 to 4 years from drowning by getting parents and carers to undertake these four simple actions:

• Supervise. Actively supervise children around water
• Restrict. Restrict children’s access to water
• Teach. Teach children water safety skills
• Respond. Learn how to respond in the case of an emergency

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The Goal

Keep Watch is designed to reduce child drowning and keep children safe around water.

Priority Areas

  • 1
    Priority Area: People
    Focus: Children (0-4 years)

Why is this Project Important to the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030?

Drowning remains a leading cause of death for children 0-4 years, despite the availability of effective prevention strategies

Key Steps to Make It Happen

  1. 1. Evidence review

    Drowning data is used to determine where, when, how and why children aged 0-4 years are drowning.

  2. 2. Program design

    The four key actions of the Keep Watch program are: Supervise, Restrict, Teach, Respond.

  3. 3. Program implementation

    Keep Watch is disseminated through the public media, pre-schools, child health clinics, swim schools and aquatic facilities.

Achievements or Impacts To Date

For 25 years, Keep Watch has taught parents to keep children safe around water.

The fatal drowning rate has decreased by 74% over the last 25 years.

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