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The Forum > General Discussion > Ban water activities?

Ban water activities?

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I was just reading the paper and came across this

http://www.smh.com.au/national/drownings-soar-in-horror-summer-20100131-n6md.html

It says:"More than 300 people drowned last financial year, the highest figure for six years"

and:"The study highlighted a ''really concerning'' over-representation of male drownings, at 76 per cent."

The actual number of children drowned last year is not given, but the ABS provides some guidance for earlier periods

http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/0/0A9D2467C7CA2AF8CA2568A900139375?OpenDocument

It says:"About a third of all child deaths from external causes were due to motor vehicle accidents (on average around 64 deaths per year) and drowning (on average 68 deaths per year)."

and:"About 6% of all child deaths classified as being due to external causes were homicides."

IOW, during the study period (1982-1996) a child was about 5-6 times more likely to drown than to be the victim of fatal assault.

Isn't it about time that we, as a caring nation concerned about our children's safety, took immediate action to have all bodes of water declared off-limits? Irresponsible parents who allow their children to play near water should surely be subject to the swiftest and most stringent interventions?

Think of the children!
Posted by Antiseptic, Monday, 1 February 2010 8:39:21 AM
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I think you're on the right track, Antiseptic.

Here are some further suggestions.

i) immediately impose a 40k.p.h limit on all Australian roads, so that families find it more difficult to get to the beaches

ii) set up mobile speed traps on every road leading to water

iii) breathalyse every motorist who manages to get past the speed traps; together with ii), this will constrain the family's time at the water, which will also limit the danger to the child

iv) insist that a government inspector is present whenever a child is using your backyard pool - you can book one through the local council. Give seven days notice of your requirement.

v) include water safety in the Bill of Rights, something along the lines of "every child has the right to stay alive in the water"

vi) and finally, in line with v) above, charge the delinquent parents who carelessly lose a child in this fashion with murder.

As Voltaire nearly said...

"dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de condamner l'emprisonnement vie de temps en temps une famille en deuil pour encourager les autres"

As you so rightly say, think of the children.
Posted by Pericles, Monday, 1 February 2010 9:44:12 AM
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Dear Anti,

I'm not sure that banning all water activities
is the answer.

Wouldn't teaching children to swim from an early
age - be a better alternative?

Also educational awareness programs on the dangers
and risks involved with leaving children on their own -
near bodies of water - may not be a bad idea either.
Parents should also be made aware of the importance
of swimming between the flags on public beaches,
as well as protective fencing around backyard pools,
and so on.

Education - with an emphasis on safety measures -
is what needs to be stressed.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 1 February 2010 9:53:43 AM
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Dear Pericles,

You made me spill my morning cuppa!
(giggle)!

Love your sense of humour!
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:04:55 AM
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Pericles, excellent suggestions, but of course, they don't go far enough. Thanks to the excellent work by Anna Bligh, here in Queensland we have already taken the step of making baths a part of cultural history. As always, Anna is at the cutting edge of policy.

Foxy, I'm sad to say that all of your suggestions ahve been tried and have sadly failed. It's time for the Australian public to accept that we cannot be trusted to be near water, especially the poor kiddies.

It's time for action!
Posted by Antiseptic, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:39:17 AM
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I think Anti's on to something here too - although I'm not sure what thing it is he's on. Clearly, if it's males who are so over-represented in drowning deaths, then it's they rather than females who should be prevented from accessing waterways.

Think of how much safer beaches would be. I'm thinking here of places like Cronulla, Manly and Burleigh Heads where young men and boys congregate to fight, drink and - apparently - drown.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Monday, 1 February 2010 10:50:29 AM
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