It’s the statistic that no parent wants to hear.
Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children under five.
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Alarmingly, swimming pools are the most common location for these toddler tragedies.
Learn2Swim is a national campaign spearheaded by former Olympic swim coach, Laurie Lawrence.
The aim is to introduce water safety to kids under five and ultimately reduce drowning fatalities for our littlest Aussies.
“When we first started this campaign back in the year 2000, 66 kids under the age of five drowned,” Lawrence said.
“Last year, there were 12 drownings.
“So we’ve made a big decrease, but the goal is zero preschool drownings and that’s what we’re chasing.”
As part of Learn2Swim Week, free lessons are available for kids under five at participating swim schools around Australia and New Zealand.
“It’s an attempt to get the parents there at the pool to understand the importance of water safety, and hence save lives,” Lawrence said.
“We keep pushing that Kids Alive message – fence the pool, shut the gate, teach your kids to swim it’s great, supervise, watch your mate, learn how to resuscitate.”
And in the lead up to summer, now is the best time to start educating.
“Start your baby early, because the research shows that kids who have lessons early are smarter, healthier, better coordinated and safer,” Lawrence said.
“Supervision is the best thing that parents of young kids can do.
“Accidents do happen and they happen quickly. It’s silent. When they fall in the pool and they go under, there’s silence.”
Find out more about free swimming lessons here.
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