Backyard Pool Safety Campaign


Homeowners urged to check their pool and spa barriers as toddler drowning rates spike to a 4 year high

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’

Safet Barriers Picture 1

Kidsafe today launched their annual ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign, calling on all homeowners to ‘help save a life’ by checking their pool and spa barriers in the lead up to the warm summer months. Click here to download full media release.

The launch comes as concerning figures released in the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s National Drowning Report show that in 2020/21, 25 Australian children aged 0-4 years drowned – a 108% increase on the previous year and the largest number since 2016/17.

Swimming pools were one of the most common locations where these incidents occurred (8), accounting for 32% of all toddler drownings.

Campaign ambassador and Australian Olympic swimming champion, Matt Welsh OAM, knows the benefits that learning to swim and growing up around water can provide for children. As a father of six, he also acknowledges the risks that swimming pools and spas can pose if strategies aren’t put in place to help keep children safe.

“It’s important to check that barriers and gates are in good working order as we head into the warmer months – particularly as many of us will be spending more time in and around the backyard pool this summer. By doing so, you could save a child’s life.”

“Toddlers are attracted to water, yet don’t understand the dangers it can pose. They can drown quickly and silently - a split second is all it takes for them to gain unsupervised access to the water area and find themselves in trouble”, said Mr Welsh.

Mel Anderson knows just how quickly this can happen, as she almost lost her 10-month-old son while at a Christmas family barbeque.

“One second Matt was playing on the ground at my feet and the next, as there was no pool fence to prevent him crawling over to the pool, he fell silently into the water. I felt sick - I thought he was gone.”

“Thankfully, my Dad had just completed a first aid course the week before and started performing CPR straight away. I’m told it was the difference between life and death for my son. I am so grateful that he is still here with me but the after effects of that day still traumatise me”, said Ms Anderson.

While pool and spa barriers are effective in helping to reduce childhood drowning incidents, a large number of drowning deaths are the result of barriers that are faulty, have not been maintained, or are non-compliant with Australian standards.

“Pools and spas provide endless hours of fun for families. Maintenance and compliance of pool and spa barriers is vital because they are exposed to the extremes of weather all year round which can lead to rust, loose or missing bolts or screws and wear and tear over time”, said Mr Welsh.


Matt Welch Video extracts

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Self Closing and Latching Gate

Gaps Under the Barrier

Are there Climable Objects Near the Pool

Don't Prop the Pool or Spa Gate Open at Any Time

Actively Supervise Children Around Water

The Best Offence is a Good Offence

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Are there Climable Objects Near the Pool



‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign DL Flyer

‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Campaign A3 Poster

Royal Life Saving Society Australia Home Safety Pool Safety Checklist

The ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign is proudly supported by Safetech Hardware Australia.

Safety Ninja Video on Backyard Pool Safety

Click here to see the new Safety Ninja Video on backyard pool safety, or click on image below.

Evidence suggests that a large number of drowning deaths in backyard swimming pools are as a result of fencing that is faulty or non-compliant with Australian Standards.

Please check your pool barriers and review your safety measures.

We encourage you to check your pool barriers as part of the present Safe Barriers Save Lives campaign. See checklist below.