TEACH your kids to swim, it’s great! That’s the message for Gold Coast parents these school holidays.
Former Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence is continuing his mission for zero child drownings in Australia, with Learn to Swim Week (28th September – 2nd October).
The initiative will see hundreds of swim schools across Australia take part, offering free lessons to children under five.
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Mr Lawrence tells myGC, it comes on the back of startling statistics.
“75 per cent of people don’t believe their child under five could save themselves (if they fell into a pool, dam or other body of water). But 50 per cent are not actually having swimming lessons,” Mr Lawrence explains.
He understands some parents may find it financially difficult to afford lessons so has joined with schools across Australia to pass on the swim safe message.
“We said, let’s give some free swimming lessons to kids. Just to give them a taste of how they can learn respect for the water.”
“Their parents can get an idea and then they can take them to their local pool or to the beach.”
If there’s not a participating swim school in your area, the Kids Alive founder suggests going to your local facility and asking if they will get on board.
Australia has the highest pool ownership per capita in the world, but data from the World Health Organisation shows drowning is ranked in the top 5 causes of death for people aged 1-14 years in Australia.
Swimming pools account for a shocking 70 per cent of the drowning deaths in children 0-4 years.
Research carried out by Poolwerx has revealed, almost three quarters of parents (71%) said they weren’t confident their child could swim but nearly half (48%) of parents do not organise official swimming lessons for their children.