AN Ellenbrook swim school has thrown its support behind a safety initiative to prevent childhood drownings.
State Swim Ellenbrook is offering free swimming lessons for children under five during national Learn2Swim Week which runs from September 23 to October 2.
Parents are urged to visit the Learn2Swim Week website at www.learn2swimweek.com and sign their under fives up to learn vital water safety skills.
“Drowning is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in children under five in Australia,” Poolwerx’s Adrian Mole said, the company behind Kids Alive Do the Five.
“We hope that by having schools like State Swim Ellenbrook supporting the cause we can get more kids in the water learning lifesaving skills.”
Learn2Swim Week Ambassador Laurie Lawrence said a recent study commissioned by Poolwerx found that more than 30 per cent of Australian parents with children under five were not taking them to swimming lessons, even though nearly a quarter of those parents surveyed said they or a family member had experienced a near-drowning event.
“It’s never too early to start teaching your kids water safety skills; at four-six months, infants are ready to start formal swimming lessons,” he said.
“If a child is taught water safety skills early, and with regular practice, generally by the time they are 18 months old they can move over deep water turn and return to the safety of the side of the pool.”
He said the study found that that more than half of parents surveyed said they did not think their children had the swimming and water safety skills to get themselves out of a pool if they fell in.
“That is a real worry, so we’re tackling this by encouraging swim schools around the country to offer free lessons during Learn2Swim Week,” Lawrence said.