On 3 December, Mark Cecil – CEO of Paul Sadler Swimland, attended an industry event run by Life Saving Victoria to support a fantastic initiative that aims to save young lives from drowning. A goal that everyone at Paul Sadler Swimland is extremely passionate about.
‘It is estimated that 145,000 children have missed vital swimming and water safety lessons each week since March 2020, not including school run programs. That is approximately 5.2 million swimming lessons missed between March and November. These missed lessons suggest, for both children and their parents and carers, a likely decline in swimming skills, water safety knowledge and fitness levels.’ noted Kate Simpson of Life Saving Victoria.
Since July 2020 alone there have been five toddler drowning deaths. When compared with the same time period last year, there were no fatal drowning deaths for this age group for the whole year.
‘Water safety might not be front of mind for all Victorians given the challenges of COVID, however with these risks and coming into summer, parents and carers are urged to be extra vigilant about supervising children around water this year.’ Kate said.
With participation in formal swimming lessons being associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning (according to the American Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine), the importance of participating in formal swimming lessons has never been stronger. To assist in closing this gap, many of our pools are offering Holiday Programs in early January and will return to regular lessons earlier in 2021 than previous years.
Our learn to swim program provides great opportunities for children to develop life-saving water safety and survival skills and become competent swimmers in a tension free, fun and exciting environment.
We teach survival skills at every level and in our lower levels we spend a minimum of 10 minutes per lesson in deep water, where we teach treading water, deep water recovery (safety circle) and mobility on front and back until children have achieved 2 minutes treading water. As children progress past these milestones, we continue to support the learning and refining of survival skills, building skills to be able to transfer into an open water environment as well as distance in the pool.
With children aged 0-14 continuing to be over-represented in Victorian drowning statistics (taking into account both fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents), we are proud as an organisation to support Life Saving Victoria in bringing awareness to these important messages and will ourselves, continue to strive forward in this space as well.
For more tips on having a Safer Summer, check out our ‘Safer Swimming this Summer’ article and remember Supervision + Swimming Lessons = A Safer Summer.