LEARNING to swim is a lifesaving skill every child needs to know and swim schools all over Australia have been urged to get behind Learn2Swim Week in a bid to reduce drowning rates.
Jeff Duncker from Poolwerx Jimboomba, the company behind the week-long event, hopes to teach parents the value of swimming lesson by offering free lessons to kids aged under five through the week of October 2 to 9.
“Children aged 0-4 years are at the highest risk for both fatal and non-fatal drownings and for every five children admitted to hospital following immersion, one will be left with potentially severe or persisting brain impairment,” Mr Duncker said.
“We know the ability to swim is one of the most important factors in reducing the risk of childhood drowning, so we need to introduce more kids to water familiarisation and swimming lessons as early as possible.”
More than 300 Australian swim schools participated in Learn2Swim Week last year. More than 450 will support the 2018 event.
“Learn2Swim Week has been running over four years now and every year we get more wonderful swim schools join the cause. The more swim schools that partner with us, the closer we get to our goal of zero drownings in under-fives,” Mr Duncker said.
“Last year 60 percent of parents who participated kept their children in swimming lessons, which shows the message is getting through.”
Laurie Lawrence from Kids Alive – Do the Five is the program ambassador, partnering with Poolwerx to deliver the initiative. Mr Lawrence said the program was a wonderful way for swim schools to show the local community they care about saving children’s lives.
“Ideally, offering a five-lesson intensive course is recommended but even if a swim school can provide one free lesson it might just help prove to a parent how vital learning about water safety is,” he said.
Learn2Swim Week runs from October 2 to 9. Register here before August 17.
The initiative is supported by all the major industry associations AUST SWIM, ASSA and SWIM Australia.