Take part in this years Learn2Swim to prevent childhood drownings.
Take part in this years Learn2Swim to prevent childhood drownings. Contributed

Vital skills to reduce drownings

HAVING the skills to swim could mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations for your child.

Swim schools throughout the community are being urged to get behind Learn2Swim Week to lower the number of drowning rates by teaching more children to swim for the fourth year in a row,

Ged O'Sullivan from Poolwerx Coffs Harbour and Moonee Beach, the company behind the week-long event, said the aim was to introduce parents to the value of learning to swim by having swim schools offer free swimming lessons to children under five.

"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 O'Sullivan 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.

Last year, over 300 swim schools across the country participated in Learn2Swim Week.

"The more swim schools that partner with us, the closer we get to our goal of zero drownings in under-fives.

"Last year 60 percent of parents of who participated in the event kept their children in swimming lessons, which shows the message is getting through and parents are understanding how important learning to swim is at an early age.

Learn2Swim Week will run from Tuesday, October 2 until Tuesday, October 9.

Registrations for swim schools are now open and close on Friday, August 17.

Click here to register.



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