The Keep Watch wristband safety initiative in Port Stephens Pools

Photo: Launching the new safety program: Vicki Haines (Life Guard), Jess Sanders (Port Stephens Council), Kate Grigor (Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness), Mark Hughes (Tilligerry Aquatic Centre), Tanya Brunckhorst (Royal Life Saving), and Troy Hughes (Lakeside Leisure Centre).
Photo: Launching the new safety program: Vicki Haines (Life Guard), Jess Sanders (Port Stephens Council), Kate Grigor (Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness), Mark Hughes (Tilligerry Aquatic Centre), Tanya Brunckhorst (Royal Life Saving), and Troy Hughes (Lakeside Leisure Centre).

 

WITH a scorching summer already in full swing, with temperatures in January expected to continue to soar, water safety is a top priority for the local swimming pools.

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To aid in ensuring that the safety of young children is prioritised, Belgravia Leisure, that run Lakeside (Raymond Terrace) Leisure Centre, Tomaree Aquatic Centre, Tilligerry Aquatic Centre, and Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness, have instigated a new safety program.

Ms Tanya Brunckhorst, Regional Manager of Royal Life Saving told News Of The Area, “The Keep Watch wristband is for every children five and under.”

“They will be given a wristband that is compulsory to wear so the lifesavers know they need to be within an arm’s reach of the parent or adult in charge of the child.”

The wristbands are a waterproof paper type, similar to what people get given at paid recreation events and do not interfere with children’s movements in the pool.

The wristbands, Ms Brunckhorst said are about, “Identifying the non-swimmers and making parents more responsible and the children under their care being in arm’s reach.”

“The lifesavers are not babysitters.”

Ms Nicole Dunn, the Area Manager said, “Any child in the pool without an adult supervising them will be asked by a lifesaver to leave and find their parent or caregiver.”

“We will explain the safety issues to the responsible adult.”

“It is designed around education of parents and families when they come to the Centre.”

Belgravia facilities have recently undergone a safety audit, with Mr Troy Hughes, the Operations Manager pleased with the result, telling News Of The Area, Lakeside scored 95%, Tomaree 94%, Tilligerry 89% and Kurri Kurri 93%.”

“These are all excellent results.”

The audits are conducted by the Royal Life Saving NSW Aquatic Safety Check and these results are considered exemplary.

 

By Heather SHARP

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