Supervision key to water safety

CREATING AWARENESS: Andrew Plint from Hannah’s Foundation talks to Owen Dahtler and Shania Balke from the Laidley Central Childcare Centre.
CREATING AWARENESS: Andrew Plint from Hannah’s Foundation talks to Owen Dahtler and Shania Balke from the Laidley Central Childcare Centre. Amy Lyne

OCTOBER 4 marked National Drowning Prevention, Awareness and Memorial Day.

It also marked the seventh anniversary of two-year-old Hannah Plint's death when she drowned in her family's swimming pool in Laidley.

Since that tragic day, the Plint family has devoted their time to creating awareness of drowning prevention as well as support to families like theirs through Hannah's Foundation.

As part of the foundation, Hannah's father, Andrew, talks to young children about water safety, including the children of Laidley Central Childcare Centre last week.

"There is no cure for drowning, only prevention," Andrew said.

"I am talking to kids and mums and dads and hoping that maybe somewhere in the background they are going to remember something I have said and just maybe we can save a life."

Mr Plint said prevention started first and foremost with supervision.

"If you have a pool at home always make sure the gate is locked but also check and maintain the pool," he said.

"If you are out on the water, life jackets are your seatbelt.

"When kids are in the car, you have them on, same as when you are out on the water."

Mr Plint said knowing how to swim was a useful skill but it was no guarantee.

"A lot of swimming is taught up and down the end of a pool but a lot of kids drown dressed in clothing and the additional weight makes it awkward," he said.

"I ask parents, 'how well can your kids swim' and 90% of the time the response comes back, 'enough to save themselves'.

"Next questions is, 'how much is that?'.

"How much swimming ability is enough, there is no answer to that question."

Mr Plint reinforced that supervision is number one.

"If you can't find kids, the first place you need to go is straight to water because you have only got about 30 seconds," he said.

On Saturday, the family launched a garden of reflection in Henry Lawson Park at Walloon.

Mr Plint said the garden was a reflective place where grieving families could go.

Topics:  water safety

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