Lessons to save chil­dren

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS -

AN El­len­brook swim school has thrown its sup­port be­hind a safety ini­tia­tive to pre­vent child­hood drown­ings.

State Swim El­len­brook is of­fer­ing free swim­ming lessons for chil­dren un­der five dur­ing na­tional Learn2Swim Week from Septem­ber 23 to Oc­to­ber 2.

Par­ents are urged to visit the Learn2Swim Week web­site at www.learn2swimweek.com and sign their un­der-fives up to learn wa­ter safety skills.

Learn2Swim Week Am­bas­sador Lau­rie Lawrence said a re­cent study com­mis­sioned by Pool­w­erx found that more than 30 per cent of Aus­tralian par­ents with chil­dren un­der five were not tak­ing them to swim­ming lessons, even though nearly a quar­ter of those par­ents sur­veyed said they or a fam­ily mem­ber had ex­pe­ri­enced a near-drown­ing event.

“It’s never too early to start teach­ing your kids wa­ter safety skills; at four to six months, in­fants are ready to start for­mal swim­ming lessons,” he said.

“If a child is taught wa­ter safety skills early, and with reg­u­lar prac­tice, gen­er­ally by the time they are 18 months old they can move over deep wa­ter, turn and re­turn to the safety of the side of the pool.”

He said the study found that that more than half of par­ents sur­veyed said they did not think their chil­dren had the swim­ming and wa­ter safety skills to get them­selves out of a pool if they fell in.

“That is a real worry, so we’re tack­ling this by en­cour­ag­ing swim schools around the coun­try to of­fer free lessons dur­ing Learn2Swim Week,” Lawrence said.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt d472892

In­struc­tor Suan Sokolenko with Liam McQueen and Eli­jah Kealy.

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