I am a strong advocate of ensuring that all children learn to swim, and educating them about safety in and around the water. Therefore, Water Safety is the utmost important part of planning and delivering a swimming lesson. It is important that swimming instructors ensure the safety of the students in their class and conduct the lesson accordingly. It is also important that the activities or swimming skills that are implemented in the lesson plan have an element of safety to ensure swimmers are learning potentially life-saving skills – especially for preschool children.
How to Ensure your Swimming Lessons are Safe
- Look at the number of swimmers in your class. Does the student to teacher ratio meet guidelines from aquatics industry leaders such as AUSTSWIM or Swim Australia? Furthermore, you can visit their website for more information.
- Make sure you are aware of what your teaching area is like. For instance, how deep is the pool? What are the potential hazards? How can you minimise possible risks within the class?
- Familiarise yourself with the emergency action plan and procedures of your workplace. Do you know where first aid or rescue equipment is located?
- Ensure all qualifications are kept current. Have you updated your CPR, First Aid, Pool Lifeguard or other qualifications specific to your workplace?
Types of Activities to Ensure Safety Skills
- Gripping – Swimmers need to be able to hold on in the event of an emergency. Early stages of the learn to swim process may include gripping a t-shirt or fingers. As swimmers grow and develop this skill will progress to holding a wall.
- Turning – Initially swimmers learn to turn to parents, then to shallow ledges and eventually to high walls (all areas of safety).
- Climbing out of the pool – Once swimmers are strong enough to pull themselves up onto, parents and shallow ledges, they can progress to climbing out of the pool all together.
- Combining these three swimming skills is a great way for more advanced swimmers to practice safety activities where they jump into the swimming pool in deep water, turn around and climb out.
By Laurie Lawrence
Need More Information?
Kids Alive do the Five
With the help of the Australian Government, through my Kids Alive – do the five drowning prevention program, I have released a water safety pack which has been delivered free to all swim schools registered with AUSTSWIM and Swim Australia. Furthermore, these free resources can be downloaded at no charge via the Kids Alive website. I encourage 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.
Professional Development Academy
The Professional Development Academy is World Wide Swim School’s dedicated online training platform for teachers. For example, swim teachers can use these learning programs for upgrade professional development points towards re-accreditation. Learn more here.
Swim School Hub
The Swim School Hub is World Wide Swim School’s online training platform for Swim Schools and their teachers. Swim School managers can allocate training tasks to their staff to ensure consistency in their training to maintain 5-star ratings whilst also meeting industry compliance requirements. Learn more here.