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:
Supervision is key – we can never assume someone else is watching. Drowning is often silent.
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:
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:
In immersion incidents, every second counts. Having an Emergency Action Plan in place can reduce panic and save vital time. Consider the following:
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”.
NEPEAN AQUATIC CENTRE
PHONE 4730 8900
16-19 Lambridge Pl, Penrith
EVA BORY’S SWIM SCHOOL
PHONE 4728 8400
14 Bromley Rd, Emu Plains