It’s the most wonderful time of the year?

It’s Summer! I love summer, and December is my favourite month of the year! The countdown to Christmas is on, and there are lots of opportunities to have fun in the sun and in the pool. However, I also feel anxious coming into this summer. At a time when most of us are celebrating, I can’t help but reflect on the senseless loss of life we saw last summer, and think of the families of the 22 drowning victims in NSW alone between December 10th 2016 to January 3rd 2017, who are now approaching the one year anniversary of losing their loved one.
December is a particularly dangerous month. We are all busy, rushed and stressed, jugging multiple Christmas parties and commitments, shopping, and getting ready for the big day. This is particularly true for parents of small children, as we all want to make our child’s Christmases magical and perfect. However, when it comes to water safety, we just can’t afford to get distracted by all the extra noise and tasks that surround us at this time of year.
We must remind ourselves to always put safety first. This means no online shopping on the mobile or checking out all the beautiful Christmas decorating ideas on Instagram while supervising the children swimming in the pool. This means ignoring the arrival of a package at the front door while bathing the kids. It means having a designated adult pool supervisor at every backyard BBQ or pool party, and emptying ice buckets and eskys when the ice has melted. It means avoiding alcohol when swimming, and when responsible for children swimming. It means fencing inflatable pools that are dragged out of storage as the weather warms up. And it means accompanying your child to pool parties or other aquatic events to supervise them, as much as we could all use that few hours to do some Christmas shopping! When it comes to my children and water, the responsibility for their supervision is ultimately mine.
It also may be tempting to put the children’s activities on hold to save time and money in the busy lead up to Christmas, but consistency is hugely important for children when learning to swim, so please prioritise your child’s swimming lesson no matter what else is going on. In the grand scheme of things, it could be the most important half hour of your week.
Please, Stay Safer this Summer.