Pool safety initiative needs your help

After the groundswell of support for the inaugural April Pools Day on Friday 1 April, organisers of the pool safety initiative are keen to keep the momentum going by encouraging even more Australians to visit the April Pools Day website over the month of April to learn CPR.

John O’Brien, Poolwerx CEO, the architects behind April Pools Day, said since the launch of the initiative on 1 April, the videos had received 200 views and counting.

“The website features quick and easy-to-understand videos on how to perform CPR in an emergency situation and while we have helped 200 people already I am still saddened by these numbers as I feel it shows people just aren’t giving this issue the attention it deserves,” he said. “The videos have been produced and hosted by Laurie Lawrence, with his daughter Emma from Kids Alive and the staff at St John Ambulance – people who really know what they’re talking about.”

“Our aim is to triple the amount of people who watch these videos by the end of the month and learn how to save a life, it only takes 5 minutes out of someone’s day to go to www.aprilpoolsday.com.au and take the refresher course.”

The concept was developed by a coalition of like-minded organisations in response to an alarming increase in the number of drownings in Australia. The campaign is squarely targeted at increasing CPR-preparedness in the community.

Mr O’Brien said Poolwerx had conducted research that found 75 per cent of people surveyed felt they did not have the necessary basic CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) skills to save a life in an emergency.

“That’s a staggering and very sad statistic and one that urgently needs to improve because learning CPR is so easy,” he said. “It’s especially relevant given a 16 percent increase in drownings over Summer.

“People claim to know the basics but they are not confident enough to apply it in an actual emergency and we felt something needed to be done to change this.”

“Research has shown that a child is four times more likely to survive a drowning if their parents know CPR and start immediately. The instructional videos on the April Pools Day website aim to make it easy for people to update these skills by giving them a refresher course on the basic skills for resuscitating babies, young children and adults, all for free.

“The more people we can get to view the videos the more we have increased the chances of a life being saved in the future.”

Tammy Richie, mother of three knows exactly how important CPR is when she resuscitated her son Carson, after she found him face down in the pool when he was 16 months old.

“It was eight years ago but reliving the moment of finding my son lifeless lying face down in the pool still reduces me to tears to this day,” she said.

“We had just moved house and I was unpacking boxes and had only taken my eyes off him for a second when I realised I couldn’t hear him anymore. I started to search the house and the last place I thought to look was the pool. I’ll never forget that moment. I screamed for help but no one came. Luckily, I knew CPR and was able to bring Carson back to life again.”

Carson survived and miraculously avoided any ill effects, including brain damage.

“When I heard about April Pools Day I wanted to be a part of it because I am so passionate about spreading the message about what a vital skill CPR is. Everyone should know how to do it. I don’t even want to contemplate what Carson’s fate might have been had I not been skilled to revive him.”

April Pools Day advocates, Laurie Lawrence and his daughter Emma Lawrence, encouraged everyone to visit the website at www.aprilpoolsday.com.au and watch their instructional videos.

“This education campaign is another step in the right direction to curb the increase in drownings,” they said.

“Drownings deaths are 100 percent preventable if we all take ownership. Our greatest hope is that everyone who learns CPR never has to use it but it’s so important to have that knowledge if the worst should happen.”