Focus on Safety

We are firm believers in education being one of the key factors in keeping children safer around the water, which is why we get out into schools, pre-schools, fetes and community events to talk about Swim Safety, all year round. It is also why we are supporting the two Swim Safety initiatives running nationwide in Swim Schools this fortnight: Swim Australia’s Annual National Swim Safer Week from 19th -25th November, and the Australian Swim Schools Associations Safer Swimming Week from 26th November to 2nd December.
The theme of both safety campaigns are simple – to prevent drownings and save lives. The campaigns aims to educate children, parents and caregivers about the layers of protection needed to protect our children from harm around water. These messages, despite being presented slightly differently from one organisation to the other, remain consistent across the major swim safety bodies in Australia. Legendary swim coach Laurie Lawrence’s ‘Kids Alive, Do The 5’ campaign presents the 5 key safety precautions in a child friendly and easy to remember format, (and in song form when presented to children in schools and preschools – just google “Kids Alive Song” for the tune!). “Fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim, (it’s great!), supervise, watch your mate, and learn how to resuscitate”. My four year old loves singing this song to anyone who will listen, so it’s a great way to communicate these concepts to small children.
It is no coincidence that you are being bombarded with swim safety information as we head towards the warmer weather and school holidays. Drowning deaths do occur throughout the year, but most undeniably happen in summer (42%). In 2017/18 fatal drowning peaked in December with 40 deaths, followed by January with 38 deaths. Sunday was the most common day for fatal drowning, accounting for 23% of all deaths, and 51% of all drowning deaths in 2017/18 occurred in the afternoon hours. Summer days should be happy times splashing about and having fun, with as little risk to children as we can possibly manage.
Recent research released by Royal Life Saving Australia reported 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, and swimming pools were the leading location for drowning deaths among young children in Australia, accounting for 52% (2002/03 – 2017/18). We have to do better.
So get involved with the water safety initiatives offered, and start to educate your children as soon as possible! Stay safer and help us to work as a community towards a zero drowning rate in our town.