Common questions our doctors are asked
What are the rules for children wearing lifejackets when out
Different states have different lifejacket laws. In Victoria, The Marine Safety Act states that every person aged less than 10 years old who is on an open area of the vessel wears a lifejacket at all times. See Maritime Safety Victoria:
Lifejacket laws. Make sure your child’s lifejacket fits properly, as they may slip out of an adult-sized jacket. Transport Safety Victoria does not recommend taking infants on board recreational boats, because lifejackets may not be effective. For more
information, see Maritime Safety Victoria:
Are there legal requirements about fencing for dams on
In Victoria, barriers or fencing are not legally required for dams, fish ponds or fountains. However, farm owners are responsible for the safety of their dam, and are required to register their dam and obtain a licence for operating the dam in some cases. You should check your own state or
territory guidelines for legal requirements outside of Victoria.
Despite the legal requirements, keeping bodies of water fenced off is the best way to prevent drowning. To prevent toddlers from wandering off unnoticed towards bodies of water, consider instead fencing off the yard or allocated play areas, and always supervise children when outdoors.
There are lifeguards at the local pool and surf lifesavers
at the beach where I take my child. Do I still need to learn first aid and CPR?
Lifeguards and surf lifesavers should not be a substitute for constant supervision of your child when they are at the pool or beach. Even though lifesavers and lifeguards are specially trained in first aid and CPR, it is recommended that parents and care givers also participate in
first aid training so they can confidently attend to injuries or emergencies, especially for situations when a lifeguard is not available (e.g. at a friend’s pool).