Swim safe this sum­mer

Keep­ing an eye on kids at all times

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Liana Walker [email protected]­der­post.com.au

PUT the phone down and keep an eye on your kids while swim­ming. That’s the mes­sage swim coach Gail Smail is giv­ing parents as tem­per­a­tures warm up and chil­dren head out to swim.

A re­port by the Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety states lack of adult su­per­vi­sion was a fac­tor in 75 per cent of drown­ings for chil­dren aged up to 14 since 2008.

Mrs Smail said it was im­por­tant not to solely rely on life savers when out swim­ming.

“Whether it’s the lo­cal pool, pool at home, dam, there’s no one keep­ing a bet­ter eye on your child than your­self,” Mrs Smail said.

“Put your phones away while your kids are hav­ing that hour swim­ming.”

The Royal Life­sav­ing So­ci­ety rec­om­mends four key ac­tions with chil­dren around bod­ies of wa­ter; su­per­vise, re­strict ac­cess, wa­ter aware­ness and re­sus­ci­tate.

Mrs Smail said both chil­dren and adults needed to take ex­tra care when swim­ming in dams and creeks, es­pe­cially around murky wa­ter.

“You might have gone out there the month be­fore and it was deep and next month you’ve had some­thing wash down there and you can find your­self in trou­ble.

“Div­ing off high plat­forms like rocks they can go re­ally deep and lose all sense of di­rec­tion in murky wa­ter.

“They get dis­ori­en­tated and lose di­rec­tion to the top of the sur­face of the wa­ter.”

Mrs Smail praised the schools that had used the Stan­thorpe Pool for swim­ming lessons.

“Some of the schools start tak­ing the Beach to Bush pro­gram where the life­savers from the coast talk to them about how the surf can change, to look between the flags and to make sure you know where your gear is.” She said the most im­por­tant thing parents or guardians could do was be a role model for their chil­dren.

“Chil­dren will re­spect wa­ter if the adults re­spect the wa­ter.”

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

THUMBS UP: Lexie and Ab­bie Maugeri are say­ing yes to swim safety with their coach Gail Smail (cen­tre).

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