Key Tips to Prevent your child from drowning
JUMP! Swim Schools CEO Mark Collins says while it is positive to see improvements in drowning rates in under five-year-olds, the spike in drownings amongst school-aged kids is very concerning, especially given the current holiday habits of Australians.
“Unfortunately, swim skills don’t necessarily stay with children when they’re not being actively practiced, so you can’t assume your child is still a strong swimmer like they may have been pre-COVID,” Mark said.
Mark said getting on top of rising drowning stats this summer would come down to a few key things:
Key tips to prevent your child from drowning:
- If you’re in any doubt about your child’s swimming abilities or water safety knowledge, get them into lessons ahead of the holidays.
- Be super vigilant – have you openly discussed who is watching the children near the water?
- Ideally, be in the water with your kids, within arm’s reach at all times.
- Make sure you talk to your kids –remind them of the dangers and the rules around the water.
Koa goes to swimming lessons at JUMP! Swim School at Armstrong Creek where he adores his teacher Shaina.
A mum had been gone for 10 seconds and could not see her son sitting on the step where she left him. It was late November, a warm spring day, and they had done a day trip to Port Lonsdale, and decided to stop at her brother-in-law’s house for a quick splash in the pool.
Her youngest son Koa was a few weeks shy of his third birthday and his brother Kai was 4 years old.
They always keep an emergency bucket of swim supplies in the boot of the car with things they might need, as they are regularly around the water. That day, they only had beach-related supplies like wetsuits with us, not pool-related items.
This meant that they didn’t have Koa’s usual ‘puddle jumper’ with us – a floatation vest that buckles at the back.
The kids played in the pool for around two hours – both boys were in there, their niece, brother-in-law and her husband. She was watching from the edge. It was time to get out and Koa came to sit on the pool step, with his vest on.
The others were still in the pool but they were down the other end. She went to quickly get Koa’s towel, which was over near the vegetable patch a little way from the pool.
“As soon as I turned around – I would only have been gone for 10 seconds – I could not see Koa sitting on the step where I left him. Cold panic filled my whole body and, as I rushed back, I could see the vest floating on the top of the water and my son at the bottom of the pool.
In a matter of seconds, Koa had managed to undo the zip and fell forward off the step. It happened so quickly. It happened so silently. Nobody saw or heard anything and now his helpless body was laying face down at the bottom of the pool.”
“Don’t think this can’t happen to your child”
“My plea to every parent is: don’t think this can’t happen to your child. It can happen so quickly, within seconds. It can happen silently and not draw any attention from others who may be close by. It’s so important to watch your children in the water.
You need to know basic first aid – you never think you will be giving CPR to your child, but accidents happen and it could save their life. It’s so important to teach your child to swim too.”
Today, almost a year on, and you wouldn’t know anything like that had happened. Koa loves the water and goes to swimming lessons at JUMP! Swim School at Armstrong Creek where he adores his teacher Shaina, who has been very patient with him.
Enrolling your child in our swimming program will give them the skills they need to be water-safe, for life!
Get in touch with your local JUMP! Swim school today, to get started!