Nepean Aquatic Centre and Eva Borys Swim School are both registered Swim Australia Swim Schools. We participate annually in Swim Australia’s SwimSAFER week – 19-25th November this year. We incorporate safety elements in our lesson plans 52 weeks per year, and as such, do not modify our lessons for swim safety weeks – we are already all about safety! Be sure to pick up your child’s Swim Safer certificate from reception after your usual lesson this week!

    Swim safety is a major focus of Swim Australia. Swim Australia’s consistent message is that no measure can ever guarantee that children are safe in, on and around water.  It is only human for adults to sometimes lapse in their supervision of children in the home or while out and about.
    Children can and do find ways over fences, and even those who have had swimming lessons can still drown. For this reason the SwimSAFER message promotes and recommends the application of various layers to protect children from drowning – if one layer ‘fails’ then there is another behind it that may save their life. Research released by Royal Life Saving Australia in 2018 showed that 965 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia over the last 25 years. Accidental falls into water were recorded as the leading activity resulting in drowning.
    The layers of protection are:

  • Always supervise – constant active adult supervision
  • Use effective barriers – pool fences, locked doors, etc
  • Have children in swimming lessons – from an early age
  • Emergency planning – learn CPR, know the emergency numbers, always have a phone nearby.
  • Supervision:
    Supervision is key – we can never assume someone else is watching. Drowning is often silent.

  • Children cannot supervise other children – always have an adult present.
  • Under 5’s should always be within arms reach.
  • Reading a book or surfing the internet is not active supervision. .
  • Barriers:
    As proper supervision relies on people, it is never 100% reliable. This is why barriers need to be in place to lessen the chances of children getting to the water hazard. Key points to maximise barrier protection:

  • The pool must be fully isolated from the house by a four-sides complying fence.
  • Self-closing and self-latching gates are used.
  • The fence and gate are checked regularly to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Learn To Swim:
    Being able to swim well is one of the greatest gifts that can be bestowed upon a child – especially in Australia. Equally, a high level of swimming and water safety skills are necessary for full, enjoyable participation – as part of a safer framework. For young children, the basic swimming and water safety skills include:

  • Water familiarization, where small children explore and become comfortable in water environments, developing a respect for the water.
  • Gaining confidence through various water activities which include and lead into safe entries and exits, breath control, submersions, floating, propulsion with arms and legs, turning and backfloating.
  • Developing the ‘strokes’ so that your child can efficiently cover much greater distances.
  • Experience in differing aquatic environments, ie swimming in cold water, turbulent water, with clothing on, swimming without goggles, swimming without floaties, etc.
  • The whole ‘learn to swim’ experience should be positive; free from fear of force, with a focus of skill acquisition and safety around aquatic environments.
  • Combined with learning the physical skills, the child is developing parallel water safety knowledge.
  • Emergency Planning:
    In immersion incidents, every second counts. Having an Emergency Action Plan in place can reduce panic and save vital time. Consider the following:

  • If a child is missing, check the pool and other water hazards first. Seconds count!
  • Have a phone poolside for emergency use only.
  • If you haven’t already done so, revise, refresh or enroll yourself in a Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) course so you are prepared in case of an emergency. CPR accreditation is current for a year.
  • All the layers of protection need to be employed at the one time to ensure optimal water safety.

    Did you know that in March 2009, the American Medical Association’s Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine reported a study by the USA’s National Institute from Health that concluded:
    “Participating in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in children between the ages of 1 to 4”.

    PHONE 4730 8900
    16-19 Lambridge Pl, Penrith

    PHONE 4728 8400
    14 Bromley Rd, Emu Plains