Child safety & pools

Child safety & pools

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children aged under 6. The average age for childhood drowning in a pool is two years of age.

Improve your pool safety

The Queensland Government's annual pool safety awareness campaign calls on parents, those supervising children and pool owners to follow the ABC of pool safety:

  • Always supervise your children near a pool.
  • Begin swimming lessons for your children.
  • Close the pool gate and keep your fence maintained.

Statistics - pools are increasing, drownings are decreasing

The number of pools in Queensland has more than doubled since 1991. Child drownings have halved since Queensland introduced swimming pool safety laws in 1991. The Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit estimates that the pool safety legislation has prevented at least 70 toddler drownings. However, a significant number of children are still drowning in swimming pools.

Did you know?

  • Child drownings in Queensland swimming pools accounts for one quarter of all paediatric injury deaths and is the most common cause of traumatic death for children aged one to four years.
  • Approximately half of all drownings involving children under five years occurred in residential swimming pools.
  • For every child drowning, up to 14 children are taken to hospital emergency departments, and four are admitted to hospital.
  • Approximately 6-7% of children will develop neurological deficits and will be permanently disabled or die as a consequence of nearly drowning.
  • It is estimated that for every child taken to hospital emergency departments, there are 10 near misses - that is, children suffering immersion who are quickly rescued.


SOURCE: the Queensland department of housing and public works website, accessed June 2012.


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