Pool lessons save lives
Kwinana and Rockingham parents are being urged to enrol their children in swimming lessons as early as six months old to prevent drownings, which according to a recent report have increased 15 per cent in WA.
According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report released last week, there were 39 drownings recorded in WA in the 2014-15 financial year, nine more than the year before and a 15 per cent increase on the five-year aver- age. Of those who drowned, 72 per cent were males, with a high of nine recorded in the 25 to 34-year age group.
Nationally, the report found 271 people died as a result of drowning, and although it was a 6 per cent reduction on the 10year average, it was a 2 per cent increase on the 2013-14 financial year report.
Of those deaths, 26 were children aged zero to four, an increase of 30 per cent on last year’s total of 20.
Yet for children aged five to 14, there were nine deaths, which is why the Kwinana Rec- quatic Centre is advocating that children be enrolled in its infant program, where participants develop water confidence and safety skills and learn how to float and move through the water.
The report found across all incidents, 20 per cent of deaths happened at beaches and 16 per cent were as a result of falling into the water, yet for the zero to four years old age group swimming pools were the leading locations for drowning deaths at 54 per cent.
RLSSWA community relations general manager Greg Tate said there were four simple things parents could do to combat the rise of drowning deaths in children under five, particularly in pools.
“The first and most important is adult supervision, or Keep Watch, the second is having an approved barrier around your pool, with a gate that self closes and latches,” he said. “Thirdly, you should enrol your children in infant aquatics lessons, and lastly you should learn resuscitation so if any of those three measures fail, you actually have the ability to save a life,” he said.
Emily Wallace and daughter Scarlett, eight months, swim teacher Corrine Jupp-Williams, Allysha Magro and son Tyler, 1, and Jade Halbert, with daughter Mila, nine months, enjoy learning to swim in the six to 12-month classes at Kwinana Recquatic Centre.