Letters to the Editor: Swimming pool tragedies a matter of seconds

IT only takes seconds for a child to drown.

BE VIGILANT: Children under five are the age group most at risk of drowning. Last year 14 children in Australia under five drowned in a backyard pool. Photo: FILE PHOTO

BE VIGILANT: Children under five are the age group most at risk of drowning. Last year 14 children in Australia under five drowned in a backyard pool. Photo: FILE PHOTO

The hotter weather is already with us and we ask all readers to take the greatest of care when children are in or around water. Our key message is that you must give all of your attention all of the time.

Children under five are the age group most at risk of drowning. Last year 14 children in Australia under five drowned in a backyard pool.

Between 2002 and 2015, 128 children under five drowned in NSW. 65 per cent of those deaths happened in a private swimming pool. In 59 per cent of the cases, supervision was completely absent.

So you have to be close to children all of the time. A supervised child is not going to drown. If young children are left alone temporarily this opens up massive dangers.

We ask readers to make sure they are prepared for any swimming experience. Always be close and within arm’s reach of a child. Focus all of your attention on your child. Watch, talk and play with them when they are in the water.

And watch all of the time. Never leave a child alone in water or in the care of another child. The reality is people answer doors, take a phone call, prepare food or get distracted and that is when the most danger comes.

For further information, readers should visit keepwatch.com.au or go to #keepwatch.

David Macallister,

CEO, Royal Life Saving New South Wales.

WALK IN THEIR SHOES

I SYMPATHISE with the staff at Centrelink who were the subject of abuse last week and are now afraid of being injured while walking home or to their cars.

I worked for the old Department of Social Security for 13 years until 1994. Even then staff numbers were being reduced and the people at the highest level were getting bonuses on our backs and the results we were achieving.

Part of my job was to calculate over-payments and impose penalties. I was one of the people who piloted a system which helped to raise over-payments, but the figures input had to be calculated first by me.

It won’t get any better until those in authority realise the value of the work being done by staff and provide the workers to continue to do it.

They seem to share the public’s view of the public service. I once suggested to a doubter that he sit in my seat for a week and see how much work I did.

Mary Grocott

READY FOR NDIS: MINISTER

I REFER refer to the article ‘Concern for NDIS in small centres’ published in your paper on January 11, 2017 and would like to address some of the issues raised by CareWest CEO, Tim Curran about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Last year in February, I joined Mr Curran in Orange to open CareWest’s two new respite centres.

I want to assure people with disability and their families living in the Central West that everything possible is being done to prepare the disability sector for the NDIS as it rolls out across Western NSW, including in Orange, Warren, Molong and Wellington.

The NDIS is another example of the NSW Government delivering for people in regional and remote areas. It will support more people with disability, create more than 1,100 new jobs and boost funding to more than $300 million a year by 2019 in Western NSW.

John Ajaka

NSW Minister for Disability Services

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