Learning and Practising Water Safety at all ages
It is so important that children learn about water safety as soon and as consistently as possible, though both education and early swimming lessons. One of the most rewarding parts of what we do is to watch children taking on board the water safety lessons learnt in swimming class, and then watching many of our students go on to become Junior Lifeguards as their first teenage job, and the Senior Lifeguards as they are finishing school!
Education should start very early, at home, with parents regularly reinforcing water safety rules – never go near the pool without an adult, never climb the pool fence, shut the gate, let an adult know if another child goes near the pool alone, swim between the flags at the beach, reach to rescue, be careful in the bath, etc. Through repetition, these safety messages become embedded and form good habits around all bodies of water.
Parents can also educate by being a good role model – stay with children as they bath and explain why you are doing so. Put the mobile phone down when supervising children in the pool or at the beach or river. Get in the pool and show them how much fun can be had swimming together. Be sun smart and put sunscreen on yourself too. Empty esky’s, buckets and baths after use and tell children why it is important to do so. If you don’t know how to swim, or have a fear of the water, be sure not to hand that down to your children – it is never too late to learn!
Swim Australia recommends starting swimming lessons from 6 months, but you can and should practice early water familiarisation before this. Fear of the water is acquired, so make sure baby has regular baths and showers from newborn and becomes comfortable with the sensation of water being trickled and then poured over their head. Your 6 month old will then accept the water more readily, and with less fear, when starting lessons.
If you are looking for something a little different this school holidays, we run 2 day Super Swim Camps, where children learn all about the basics of CPR and First Aid, the Kids Alive Do the Five pool safety rules, and get to practise in water rescue and lifeguarding skills, plus a pool party with the inflatable slide to round off the fun. Please see our website for dates and details, and remember the Creative Kids Voucher can be used to attend.
There are lots of options, so let’s help our children by teaching them how to stay safer around the water!