Coffs Coast swim schools combine to give kids a safer summer
FAMILIES of the Coffs Coast are encouraged to take part in a national initiative aimed at increasing water-safety awareness and reducing aquatic tragedies.
Swim schools based at Coffs Harbour, Toormina and Woolgoolga are participating in the National EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER week starting this Monday.
The mission is to teach students learn-to-swim skills and offer water safety activities with teachers promoting the importance of having an emergency action plan and knowing how to perform compression-only CPR.
In the year ending June 30, 20 children aged four years or younger drowned in Australia with 70 per cent occurring in swimming pools.
Sue Hutchinson at Coffs Harbour Olympic Pool Swim School said although year-round swimming lessons are important, summer is still the nation's peak drowning season.
"On the eve of summer, there's never been a better time to remind people about how to swim safer and respond to a water-related accident," Sue said.
Scott Hunt from Woolgoolga Pool said while swimming remains one of the country's favourite activities, accidental childhood drowning has claimed more young lives than any other cause.
Leah Dillon from Toormina agrees.
"Accidents can and do happen, even to the most cautious of families," Leah said.
"However, if all Aussies apply the layers of protection - be aware, be secure, be confident and be prepared - we should be able to reduce drowning deaths and swim safer.
"Kids can drown without a sound, in seconds, and in just centimetres of water, no matter the environment.
"Any delay in aiding a drowning person could mean the difference between life, death or a life-altering condition."
Vital tips to apply this swim season include if a child is missing, check all water hazards first, including in pools and under any pool covers, dams, creeks and other aquatic areas, as well as buckets, bird baths, and animal water troughs.
Always have a first aid kit on hand and know emergency numbers 000 for landlines and 112 for a mobile.
And be on top of CPR techniques and accreditation.