Stay safe in the pool

Central Telegraph - - NEWS -

MOURA swim coach and mother-of-five Sarah Mor­ris be­lieves par­ents need to pay close at­ten­tion to Lau­rie Lawrence’s Kids Alive – Do the Five wa­ter safety pro­gram as the weather heats up across the re­gion.

She said the most im­por­tant point par­ents needed to cover was su­per­vi­sion.

“Ac­ci­dents do hap­pen, par­tic­u­larly in Cen­tral Queens­land where a lot of our pools are closed over win­ter,” she said.

“Our kids stop swim­ming for that short pe­riod of time but when they jump back into the wa­ter they don’t nec­es­sar­ily re­mem­ber they can swim or how to swim, so they’ll of­ten get a fright.

“They need to be closely mon­i­tored, con­sid­er­ing they stopped swim­ming at the end of last sum­mer.”

Ms Mor­ris be­lieves wa­ter re­spect is an­other big thing par­ents need to be mind­ful of when their chil­dren get back into the pool.

“When ev­ery­one re­spects the wa­ter and their own ca­pa­bil­i­ties they’ll de­crease the like­li­hood of get­ting into trou­ble,” she said.

“By re­spect­ing the wa­ter, it just means don’t rush.

“When you are go­ing to a place where there is wa­ter, set some strong ground rules with the kids be­fore­hand. Ex­plain to them so they know the or­der in which things need to hap­pen, so they are not rac­ing off to get wet be­fore mum or dad is ready to watch them.”

She said it was im­por­tant chil­dren learned to swim, as there was no cure for drown­ing.

“Preven­tion is prob­a­bly the only method of safety we have,” she said.

“A huge part of our swim­ming lessons in Moura con­cen­trates on re­spect­ing the wa­ter and the ways we can move to en­joy it.

“We also help the kids un­der­stand that if they are in a dam and don’t feel like they can get out, we prac­tice float­ing tech­niques and give those kids that abil­ity to make it more of a fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tion, rather than it be­ing brand new and them hav­ing no idea what to do.

“Hope­fully, if they ever find them­selves in that sit­u­a­tion, they’ll be able to prac­tice those wa­ter safety tech­niques and get some help.”

Ms Mor­ris said it was never too early or too late to learn how to swim.

“Wa­ter fa­mil­iari­sa­tion can start as soon as bub’s at home in their bath or shower,” she said.

“At Moura, we start our swim­ming lessons at six months of age.

“It is never too late to learn and we are for­tu­nate to have a cou­ple of adults that have plucked up the brav­ery and man­aged to get them­selves into the pool and learn to swim.”

PHOTO: CARLY GOODY

WA­TER SAFETY: Sarah Mor­ris is a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for wa­ter safety and wa­ter re­spect and says it’s never too early or late to learn to swim.

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