Be safe in and around the water

A lifelong skill: Teaching your child to swim will help keep them safe in and around the water, plus it is a great form of exercise and promotes fitness.
A lifelong skill: Teaching your child to swim will help keep them safe in and around the water, plus it is a great form of exercise and promotes fitness.

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With summer just around the corner now is the time to ensure children learn vital skills for safety around water. 

Australians love the water, but sadly too many people die or suffer a life-impacting disability as a result of drowning. 

“The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report reveals the sad fact that 291 people drowned last year,” said the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, Minister for Sport.

“This is a sobering reminder to always actively supervise children around water, for people young and old to learn to swim and survive, to increase lifejacket use, reduce alcohol consumption around water and to always Respect the River.” 

One way to prevent tragedy impacting your family is to enrol in lessons at your local swimming centre.

Lessons should in no way replace direct adult supervision when around the water, but programs can provide more than just learning how to do freestyle. 

Children are taught important survival skills including water awareness, floating, treading water and being comfortable in the water.

Learning to swim is a repetitive business, so check out your local pool for intensive courses that run over the school holidays. 

AUSTSWIM recommend starting formal aquatic programs at six months of age.  

When booking lessons, they advise, that for young children classes should be no longer than 30 minutes in warm water (30 - 32°C). 

They also recommend that classes include varied educational activities enhanced through games, songs and equipment.

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It’s never too late to learn 

There has always been a big focus on teaching children, but how many people reach adulthood and still don't know how to swim?

Many adults feel embarrassed to admit they never learnt, or lack the proper technique and are still the awkward head-up swimmer.

The reality is a substantial number of adults would struggle to swim 50 metres.

The good news is, it is never too late to learn.

Head to your local pool and ask about lessons.

here is no need to feel self-conscious, everyone attending the lessons is in the same boat and keen to learn a new skill.

Benefits of swimming

Learning to swim is not just about safety, it is also a healthy hobby that can last a lifetime.

It’s a great way to raise your heart-rate without putting stress onto your body.

Plus it provides an all-over body workout.

So pack up your swimmers, grab your towel and take your family for a refreshing but safe dip.