WIRAC warning for parents
SOUTHERN Downs Regional Council is reminding all parents that children under the age of 11 are not permitted to enter the Warwick Indoor Recreation and Aquatic Centre without the active supervision of a person 16 years or older.
The reminder comes as some parents continue to flaunt the rules of the recreation centre by dropping off unsupervised children as young as six.
"It seems to happen every summer and our message to parents is your unsupervised children will not be given access and will be sent home," said Centre Manager, Don Warrener.
"On Saturday a mother dropped her six year old, eight year old and 11 year old at 8.15am to the pool before we even opened and left them there," he said.
"We tried to ring her without success so we called the police to take them home.
"Yesterday four children came in for a swim and two were only six and eight years old, so we had them wait until their mother came in to supervise them."
"In the interests of safety, you must be 11 years old to swim by yourself and children are not allowed entry unless they are under active supervision of a person 16 years or older," Mr Warrener said.
"There will be no exceptions and parents will be called to collect under age children from the pool."
As a member of the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia's Keep Watch @ Public Pools program, the Warwick Indoor Recreation & Aquatic Centre is keen to promote the importance of adult supervision in preventing children from drowning. Seventy per cent of drowning deaths at public pools are due to a lack of direct supervision by a parent or carer while the child is in the water.
"Lack of direct supervision of a parent or carer while a child is in water has been the main factor in 70% of the drowning deaths at Public Pools," Mr Warrener said.
"As a parent you have a responsibility to look after your own children. Lifeguards do a great job of keeping pools safe but they are not babysitters."
"Children do not understand the hazards that water presents to them," he added. "They have no real sense of danger and require a high level of supervision.
"Parents or guardians should actively supervise their children at all times. As such, they should be dressed ready for action, including unexpected entry to a pool."
Mr Warrener made no apologies for WIRAC's campaign to make parents and carers understand the dangers of leaving children unattended at a public pool.
"It only takes a split second for a child to get into difficulty in the water, so give your child all your attention, stay close to them and keep watch to save lives," he said.
WIRAC RULES ARE AS FOLLOWS: *0 to 5 years old & non-swimmers-A parent of guardian must be within arms reach of their child. *6 to 10 year olds-Constant active supervision is required. * 0 TO 10 Year olds may be supervised by a person over the age of 16 years