Geelong mum warns of water risks

Geelong mum Brooke is sharing her son Oscar's story as part of Kidsafe Victoria's new household water hazard awareness campaign. (Supplied)

Ash Bolt

A Geelong mum is sharing her son’s near-death drowning experience as part of a new Kidsafe Victoria water safety campaign.

Brooke’s son Oscar was just 13 months old when he fell into an esky containing melted ice in the backyard of their home.

She shared the moment she thought she had lost her son as part of Kidsafe Victoria’s new campaign, ‘Through My Eyes’, to raise awareness of water hazards around the home.

“I hadn’t thought that an esky would be a hazard,” Brooke said.

“Oscar was playing outside in a safe space while I went to put dinner on. I was only gone for a couple of minutes when I realised it had gone too quiet.

“I found Oscar with his little legs sticking up out of the esky and his head was under water.”

The esky had been used at a party and was left out so the ice melted because it was too heavy to move.

Brooke had no idea that it would be a danger and had not expected Oscar would fall in.

Brooke had recently graduated from nursing studies, but it was the first time she had performed CPR.

After what she said felt like forever, but was approximately five minutes of CPR, Oscar started to cough and came to.

He spent two days in hospital under observation, with doctors concerned about how long he had been without oxygen.

However Oscar is now nine years old and has no lasting effects.

“CPR really does save lives. Your split second decision can give another person a second chance at life, and my son is living proof of that,” Brooke said.

“I’m sharing my story so others don’t have to live it. I want other parents to know how dangerous containers like eskies with melted ice can be and to never leave their children unsupervised around them.”

Kidsafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers said drowning continued to be one of the leading causes of unintentional death for children under the age of five.

“Twenty seconds and a few centimetres of water is all it takes for a toddler to drown – this means that items including eskies with melted ice, buckets, fish ponds, wading or portable pools and even pet water bowls, can all pose a potential drowning hazard,” he said.

“Toddlers are naturally curious, yet don’t understand the dangers that water can pose. Because they tend to be top heavy, they can easily topple over into the water as they lean over or reach for an object.”

As part of the new campaign, Kidsafe Victoria is encouraging parents and carers to check around their homes for potential drowning hazards and put strategies in place to help reduce the risk.