Why winter swimming is worth the effort
Thousands of kids are continuing to swim through winter, as we experience its our highest winter enrolment numbers on record – a sign that the important message of maintaining life-saving swim skills is being embraced by parents.
If you’re not sure about whether the effort to continue swimming lessons through winter is worth it, then perhaps what these two parents and a swim teacher have to say may make up your mind.
Swimming through the winter months is the most important thing you can do to prepare a child for the summer months of beach and pool visits. Ensuring their skills remain at a level where they could save their own life if the unthinkable accident was to occur is so important, even during winter.
Here are three reasons why it’s essential to continue swimming lessons through winter:
- Water accidents don’t always happen in summer. According to the most recent Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, drownings in February were actually the same as the number in July! The report also shows that 19% of drowning deaths happen in winter. Megan, whose son Ned rode his bike into a lake when he was three, said she wants parents to know that water accidents can happen at any time of year in any setting. “My son rode his bike into a lake at a park when he was dressed in heavier winter clothing – don’t think you have to be at the beach dressed in swimmers in summer for an accident to happen.”
- Water accidents can happen to anyone, it only takes a few seconds. Vera’s son was just over two years old when he slipped under the water in an inflatable pool. Vera wants other parents to know how quickly accidents can happen around water. “The day my son had a water accident was one of the most frightening days of my life. Water confidence is essential given pools, beaches and rivers are everywhere and form part of the Australian lifestyle,” she said.
- It only takes 2-3 weeks to start losing core swimming skills. JUMP! swim teacher Amanda Hicks says if children take the winter months off, by the time they go on September school holidays, they’ve lost most of their skills which puts them at serious risk. “Swimming is not a skill that can be practised properly at home – a pool is required as is a qualified swim teacher. Summer swimmers are made in winter, it’s that simple.”
To make winter swimming a little easier, Amanda says a little preparation goes a long way and offers these tips:
- Find a pool that’s heated or get little kids into wetsuits to help them maintain their body temperature.
- Bathrobes work wonders for getting from the pool to the car at the end of the lesson – then straight into a warm shower at home.
- A warm drink like MILO in a thermos is a nice treat for the end of the lesson.
Get in touch with your local JUMP! Swim school today, to get started!