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Maria to promote toddler drowning prevention.

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Press Release

Maria to Promote Toddler Drowning Prevention 24 January 2005

Today Maria Vamvakinou MP, the Federal Member for Calwell became an Ambassador for Toddler Water Safety in a unique program to drive down drowning deaths in the five and under age group.

“I am pleased to be part of Royal Life Saving’s KEEP WATCH program. As a parent of young children I want to raise awareness of water safety and the need for parents to watch their children when they are around water.” Said Maria Vamvakinou

“The national toddler anti-drowning campaign is in its seventh year and I am pleased to act as a community contact point and distribution centre for information on preventing toddler drowning.”

Pamphlets and fridge magnet cards are available from my Electorate Office, with much of the information available in multi-lingual versions.

Royal Life Saving figures for the financial year 2003-04 show there were 40 drowning deaths of children aged 0-5, up five on the previous year.

“While the KEEP WATCH program has directly translated into young lives saved, the fact that we are here today knowing that 40 young children lost their lives last year means that more work is needed, and that our battle is ongoing," Maria Vamvakinou pointed out.

“While the 2003-04 figure represents a 26 percent decrease on the five-year average of 54 deaths, 40 young lives lost is an extremely frightening figure,” said Ms Vamvakinou

“Despite a huge amount of publicity and community effort, the drowning rate of our toddlers is still way too high.”

“Parents need to be aware that drowning happens swiftly and silently. Parents may not hear a splash or children crying out,” said Ms Vamvakinou