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Ed Sheeran

Bathmats in battle against baby drownings

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Water Safety New Zealand is set to continue its bathmat project with Plunket, in which bathmats are delivered to the homes of newborn babies.

Chief executive Jonty Mills says it has proven an effective way to get out to reinforce the importance of constant active adult supervision of under-fives around water.

Between 1993 and 2013 on average two under-fives died in the bath in what were considered preventable fatalities, but since 2013 there have only been three such deaths.

Water Safety New Zealand is investing $2million in water safety interventions in its 2019/20 funding round.

It is divided among priority areas including drowning prevention programmes run by national organisations including Coastguard Boating Education, Surf Life Saving NZ, Swimming NZ and Plunket; the Water Skills for Life programme for primary schools; Māori drowning prevention; and water safety projects in high risk areas of Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

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