Stay safe in the pool
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.”
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.