Swim safe this summer
Keeping an eye on kids at all times
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.”
THUMBS UP: Lexie and Abbie Maugeri are saying yes to swim safety with their coach Gail Smail (centre).