Water Safety

Water to most young children means fun, play and adventure; they do not understand the dangers associated with it. There are four steps to ensuring your children are as safe a possible around water:

1. Supervise: Keep a close watch on your child when they are in or around water, this is the most effective way to prevent drowning.

2. Eliminate hazards: where possible, eliminate the hazards, if there is no water there is no risk! For example, empty buckets and baths when not in use.

3. Environmental Measures: Fence it in - all pools must have suitable safety barriers to restrict access by young children to the immediate pool surrounds, constructed in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1926.1. Block pool and spa access with a safety cover when not in use.

4. Education and Skill Development: Teach children to swim and make sure you learn resuscitation - the first few minutes in an emergency can make the difference between life and death.

CPR posters and first aid training are available from your local:

Here in the NT we have unique issues to consider when playing in and around our water ways. 

Water Pipes and Drains

Conditions in pipes and drains are very unpredictable, especially during the Wet Season when sudden downpours can cause flooding without warning.

Playing in pipes and drains is dangerous - it's important to educate yur children about the dangers and the high risk of serious injury or drowning.

Kidsafe NT is a member of the NT Water Advisory Council and has worked in conjunction with the Territory Government and the Darwin and Palmerston Councils to develop a community awareness campaign to increase awareness of the risk. 


Some of the dangers of playing in pipes and drains are:

1. Being swept away as water rises without warning and moves very quickly.

2. Drains can often run for kilometres and flow into the ocean or rivers.

3. Debris and other sharp objects can injure you or potentially knock you unconscious.

4. Chemicals, poisons and sewerage can contaminate the water which can make you very sick.

5. Drains often have grates at the end of them which means if you get sucked through there is no exit.

6. Crocodiles and snakes continue to be found and pulled out of pipes and drains in the Northern Territory every year.

Water Safety Awareness Program

In a bid to reduce injury and death around our water ways, Northern Territory children under five can take advantage of this FREE NT Government initiative. 
Administered by the Royal Life Saving Society, in conjunction with the Northern Territory Water Safety Advisory Council, the Under 5 Water Safety Awareness program provides free water safety lessons for parents and guardians, and their children aged under five in urban, rural and remote areas of the Territory. The program consists of five sessions to develop a child’s confidence and ability in water and teach general water safety awareness and rescue techniques.

For more information go to http://www.royallifesaving.com.au/programs/swim-and-survive-state-programs/nt-water-safety-awareness-program

Box Jelly Fish

Box Jelly Fish bites can be lethal and must be treated immediately.  The official Box Jelly Fish season is from 1 October to 1 June.
For up to date, accurate information go to the Department of Health website.

Crocodile Safety

The Northern Territory can claim the position as having the most crocodiles in our waterways than any other state or territory in Australia.  With this comes the need to be Crocwise.  For more information on how to be Crocwise go to the NRETAS web site. 

Check Your Pool Gate and Fencing

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Australian children under 5 years of age. Between 2011-2012, 21 children aged between 0-4 years drowned in Australia – swimming pools were the most common location for drowning amongst this age group, accounting for 38% of drowning incidents.

Studies have shown pool fencing, particularly isolation fencing, to be effective in reducing the risk of drowning. However, evidence suggests that a large number of child drowning incidents occur as a result of pool fencing that is faulty or non-compliant with Australian Standards.

Pool/spa fencing will experience wear and tear over time (e.g. rust, missing bolts/screws, damage etc.) and therefore it is important that it is regularly checked and maintained. Common faults/non-compliance issues identified with pool fencing include:

•          Gates that don’t self-latch or self-close.

•          Climbable objects in the ‘non-climbable’ zone outlined in the Australian Standards (e.g. pot plants, chairs, pool pumps near the pool fencing which could allow a child to climb over the fence).

•          Excess space under the fence, and;

•          Misuse (e.g. propping the pool gate open).

For more information on fencing requirements in the NT refer to: