Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children under the age of five in Australia. On average, four children under 5 drown each year in Western Australia. The good news is that this number has greatly decreased over the last two decades. Nevertheless, toddlers remain at high risk of drowning and constant efforts are required to ensure that the number of drowning incidents remains low.
Keep Watch aims to reduce the incidence of toddler drowning in the community. Keep Watch is Royal Life Saving Society WA's longest running program and was introduced in Western Australia in 1996, a year that saw 14 toddlers drown across the state.
The program was originally conceived solely as a mass media campaign but additional strategies were added to strengthen the program’s influence and ensure it is reaching parents effectively.
A number of strategies are now used to promote the program’s four key messages including:
Keep Watch is supported by the Department of Health Western Australia, RLSSWA’s principal community partner BHP Billiton and through donations to RLSSWA.