NSW Minister for Local Government Don Page, Belinda Hedley and Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister, pictured with twins Seth and Braith Hedley.
NSW Minister for Local Government Don Page, Belinda Hedley and Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister, pictured with twins Seth and Braith Hedley. Contributed

Swimming pool register goes live to save lives

IN the past 10 years, 67 young children have drowned in NSW swimming pools and Royal Life Saving wants to put a stop to the tragedies.

They are calling on all swimming pool owners to join the NSW Swimming Pool Register, which goes live tomorrow and will help the distribution of relevant information to prevent drowning deaths.

"The statistics speak for themselves," Royal Life Saving NSW CEO David Macallister said.

"In the past 10 years, 67 children aged 0 to 4 have drowned in New South Wales swimming pools.

"It is critical all pool owners register their pools so councils and water safety educators can more effectively communicate with pool owners to try and halt drownings."

Mr Macallister said that the information would help communicate safety requirements to pool owners.

"There are over 300,000 pools across NSW," he said.

"Royal Life Saving NSW believes that in a number of areas as many as one in every two pools simply doesn't meet safety standards.

Belinda and Shaun Hedley found out firsthand just how easily kids can get into trouble in the water, when a few years ago they found their twin boys floating face down in a backyard swimming pool.

"I honestly thought we had lost both of them," Mrs Hedley said.

"We used some of our CPR training and then an ambulance arrived.

"They had become unconscious and turned blue."

The Hedleys are lucky to still have their two boys after the near-miss, but feel that more can be done to prevent drowning deaths and stop similar incidents.

"Even if you don't have children living in your home, there may be kids living nearby or grandchildren or friends with children who drop around unexpectedly," Mrs Hedley said.

Last year 105 people drowned in NSW, compared to 75 in Queensland and 37 in Victoria and Royal Life Saving estimates for every child drowning death, there are approximately three hospitalisations, two of which result in permanent brain injury.

To register your pool go to www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au and for more water safety information go to www.bepoolsafe.com.au


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