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2 December 2014

WA Health receives top award from Royal Lifesaving

The contribution of WA Health to drowning prevention has been recognised with the President's Award from the Royal Life Saving Society WA (RLSSWA).

The RLSSWA President's Award recognises the financial contribution WA Health has made to the Royal Life Saving Society, and specifically to the Keep Watch program, over 15 years.

Executive Director of Public Health, Professor Tarun Weeramanthri accepted the award on behalf of WA Health at the summer launch of the Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention campaign.

"This is an important, longstanding and continuing partnership between our organisations, based on a shared concern for drowning prevention which has yielded tangible and life-saving benefits for West Australians.

"Over the 15 years of this partnership we have seen real improvements in the rate of toddler drowning, however, the spike seen over the last two years is evidence that further efforts are required to ensure new parents are always aware of safety around water," Professor Weeramanthri said.

In 2013, eight children under the age of five died from drowning and a further 35 were hospitalised from a drowning-related incident.

"It is of great concern that we are still losing children to drowning so it is all the more important that we have campaigns such as 'Keep Watch' to ensure parents and carers know how to protect children from harm in aquatic environments and understand how to act in an emergency and are aware of prevention strategies.

"Royal Life Saving Society WA has an outstanding reputation and proven success in educating West Australians and WA Health is delighted to extend funding support so they can continue their water safety programs," Professor Weeramanthri said.

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