Drowning prevention

9 January 2018

As summer continues many of us are seeking refuge from the heat in pools. Which is why doctors at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network are urging parents and carers to be vigilant with kids in and around water.

Last summer, 23 children presented to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead following a drowning or near-drowning incident between December 2016 and February 2017 but doctors don’t want to see the same happen this summer.

“We experienced one of the worst summer seasons in terms of drowning. 41 people in NSW lost their lives with 15% of those being in children under five. Our Network and other safety organisations are aiming to prevent this from occurring again. We want the statistic to be zero,” Dr. Mary McCaskil, Emergency Medical Director at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, said.

So, the Foundation is helping the Network spread the word about water safety.

This summer the Network’s awareness campaign ‘Kids can drown without a sound!’ emphasises four key priorities to help prevent drowning in children:

  1. Have a compliant pool barrier that is used correctly and maintained regularly
  2. Adult supervision of children (within arm’s reach) in and around water is essential
  3. Teach children water familiarisation and swimming skills
  4. Learn CPR and remember that any attempt is better than no attempt

For more information on drowning prevention head to

For a free online CPR training for parents’ and carers head to

Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation raises funds for Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick , The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage, the Newborn and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS NSW) and Kids Research