Free pool safety lessons for kids

FAMILIES can win free pool safety lessons for their toddlers as part of an initiative to boost child immunisation rates across the Mid North Coast.

According to Dr Helena Johnston, medical director for the MNC Division of General Practice, this area has one of the lowest immunisation rates in the nation.

The Childhood Immunisation Saves Lives promotion aims to reduce the risk of vaccine preventable disease in the community by increasing the rates of immunisation.

Immunisation project officer Leigh Eastwood said the Australia-wide immunisation register showed a significant drop in the cover for the 12- to 18-month age group and also the four year-old age group.

“A 95 per cent cover throughout the community is what is needed to ensure an effective level of immunity,” Ms Eastwood said.

“To help achieve this we are running a competition with 12 local swim schools donating 10-week blocks of water familiarisation and confidence classes for children aged between 12 and 18 months.

“For the older children there is the chance to win one of five bikes together with helmets.”

Ms Eastwood said the collaboration with the swim schools was a way to not only help prevent disease in children but to also plant the seeds for exercise, fun and a healthy lifestyle.

“It's a great opportunity for young children to develop safety skills in and around water, free of charge. These skills will benefit the kids throughout their lives.”

Participating swim schools include Harbour Swim School, Sawtell Swim Centre, Jaca Blue Swim School, Dorrigo Swim Centre, Bellingen Swim Centre, Macksville Memorial Aquatic Centre, Eastswim, Coffs Aquatic and Boambee Swim Care.

Any child who receives their immunisation from now until January 18, is eligible to enter the competition.

Entries are available from all local immunisation providers. The competition draw will take place on January 24.

For more information contact Leigh Eastwood on 6651 5774.

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