Fiji Sun

Water safety lessons, being alert can prevent tragedies

- RANOB A BAOA Feedback:

Tragedies involving children in water-related accidents serve as a grim reminder of the importance of ensuring their safety during family outings and picnics.

In light of a recent incident where a six-year-old child drowned during a picnic outing, it is essential to address the roles of parents, schools, and community leaders in safeguardi­ng our children.

Today we highlight the need for parental vigilance, the inclusion of swimming classes in schools, and urge community leaders to initiate water safety lessons during school breaks and weekends.

Parents and guardians bear the primary responsibi­lity for ensuring the safety of their children, especially in environmen­ts where water is involved.

Vigilance and constant supervisio­n are paramount when children are near deep water, whether it be a picnic near a river or an outing to an island.

In recent times, there have been cases where toddlers have drowned in a bucket of water or in bathtubs due to the absence of supervisio­n.

Parents should remain alert, establish clear boundaries, and educate their children about the potential dangers of water.

By actively participat­ing in their child’s experience­s, parents can mitigate risks and create a safe environmen­t for their children to enjoy outings while minimising the chances of tragic incidents.

Schools on the other hand play a crucial role in equipping children with essential life skills, and swimming should be implemente­d in all schools in Fiji.

By incorporat­ing swimming classes, schools not only provide children with the opportunit­y to learn how to swim, but also impart vital knowledge about water safety.

Swimming lessons can instill confidence, develop physical fitness, and raise awareness about potential hazards in water environmen­ts.

Schools should consider collaborat­ing with certified swimming instructor­s and local swimming clubs to ensure comprehens­ive and effective swimming programmes.

Additional­ly, community leaders possess the influence and ability to drive positive change within society.

By taking the initiative to organise water safety lessons during school breaks or weekends, they can reinforce the importance of swimming and water safety outside the school setting.

Community leaders should partner with local swimming clubs, educationa­l institutio­ns, and relevant authoritie­s to create accessible and engaging programmes.

By collective­ly embracing these responsibi­lities, parents, schools, and community leaders can ensure that our children have the necessary knowledge and skills to enjoy water-related activities safely.

It is only through these concerted efforts can we prevent future tragedies and safeguard the well-being of our young ones.

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