Water safety advice is available from the State Government through its “Play it safe by the water” campaign, details of which are available
on the website http://www.watersafety.vic.gov.au.
The site has specific safety tips for inland waters and is recommended reading for anyone supervising children near water. In particular,
remember the following:
- When supervising children under 5 years of age, children must be within arms reach at all times
- Alcohol and swimming don’t mix
. According to the Royal Life Saving Society Australia, alcohol is
one of the biggest risk factors in drownings in inland waters in Australia.
- Use a sunscreen and hat
to avoid sunburn and skin cancer.
- Discourage your children from drinking the water
that they are playing in. Some splash parks use recycled water.
- Always heed warning signs
. They are there for a reason and you could be endangering your health or your life if you disobey them.
- Don't swim in algal blooms
. The toxins in some blue-green algae have been recognised as a cause of motor neurone disease for several years now, and recent
research has linked these toxins to an increased risk of a range of other brain disorders.
- The amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which is prevalent in warm fresh waters across Australia, is a cause of meningitis encephilitis in children. The highest risk
occurs when untreated water is squirted up the nose, either through water play or by jumping into water. It only affects children, because the barrier
between the nasal passage and the brain is weaker in children. Whilst infection is very rare, and only a handful
of cases have been reported in Australia, the condition is fatal.
- Above all, use your common sense
. Conditions can change rapidly. Continually re-assess the risks and act accordingly
which may include deciding not to enter the water.
If you enjoy the water play areas on this website, do your best to preserve them for others to enjoy, or to come back to yourself.
- Take your rubbish with you if bins are not provided.
© Brad Neal 2015. All rights reserved. This work is not to be sampled,
copied, modified, adapted or reused for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.