Swim Schools should incorporate water safety education and water safety skills into their formal learn to swim programs. Swim schools are responsible for developing the future attitudes and beliefs of our next generation. During the 24th to the 30th of November 2014, hundreds of swim schools participated in the Swim Australia National Energy Australia Swim Safer week. If you didn’t participate this year we encourage you to get on board with this fantastic initiative next year. Swim Schools should also make a commitment to continue with their water safety education messages and skills in the swimming lesson all year round.
Water safety games and activities very often fit nicely into the warm up or final activity of a lesson plan. Children love using their imaginations and swimming teachers can very easily take the children on a journey to the beach, river, creek or farm to highlight different water hazards or dangers in a fun and exciting way. There are a huge variety of different water safety scenarios or activities the creative teacher can utilise. However some common ideas to incorporate in activities may include,
- Never swimming alone
- Swimming between the flags while at the beach
- Wearing a personal floating device while boating or fishing
- Entering the water safely e.g. assessing water depth and potential debris
- Following rules and reading signage
- How to respond in an emergency
- How to signal for help
- Rescue techniques and the importance of self preservation
- Sun safety and dressing appropriately for aquatic environments
- The importance of active parental supervision
- Encouraging parents to learn CPR and first aid skills
With the help of the Australian Government Laurie through his Kids Alive – do the five drowning prevention program has release a water safety pack which has been delivered free to all swim schools registered with AUSTSWIM and Swim Australia. These free resources can be downloaded at no charge via the Kids Alive website at the following link http://www.kidsalive.com.au/early-childhood-program/. Laurie encourages all swim schools to inform families who are attending their centre to log on and get these new water safety resources including animations, e-books and music so that they can continue the water safety education messages at home.
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