[singlepic id=286 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has urged parents and carers to ensure that their children are water safe this summer.

Mr Pitt said that drowning was the greatest cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia.

“Each year there are approximately 50 non-fatal immersion incidences, which often cause permanent brain damage,” Mr Pitt said.

“Only yesterday I read in a Royal Life Saving Society of Australia report that drowning incidents involving children under five have risen from 27 to 33 per year in the last two years.

“New mandatory pool safety certificates and inspections for Queensland will help save lives and make the state’s pools the safest in the country.

“I fully support the tough new swimming pool safety laws passed by the Queensland Parliament but laws alone will not stop kids from drowning.”

Mr Pitt said he enrolled his son Tristan in swimming lessons as early as possible to give him the skills he needed to be water active.

“Nothing replaces adult supervision of children when they’re near water – we remain the first line of defence”

“We must always watch our kids around water and teach them how to swim from an early age.”

Mr Pitt said a comprehensive water safety DVD was put together by Laurie Lawrence, in conjunction with the Australian Government and the help of water safety experts Australia wide aimed at parents and carers of children under five.

“Laurie was only too happy to make available a large quantity of the DVDs for distribution in our local area and I thank him for that,” Mr Pitt said.

“The ‘Kids Alive Do The Five’ DVD covers all aspects of water safety and is broken down into developmental stages to outline specific water hazards as children grow.”

Peter Dalle Cort from Essential Skills Swim School at Bentley Parks said parents should ensure their children are able to swim from an early age.

“Parents should spend quality time with their children in the pool,” Mr Dalle Cort said.

“Creating a love and respect of water early in their lives is the key to maximum safety.”

Between 1 January 2004 and 18 May 2010, 35 children under five years of age drowned in residential swimming pools and in 2008/09 eight children drowned in swimming pools.

The free DVD will be available from the Mulgrave Electorate Office, 94-96 Norman Street, Gordonvale or from Essential Skills Swim School at Bentley Park.

For more information on the new pool safety laws go to www.dip.qld.gov.au/poolsafety

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