Make sure you’re giving your child enough time in the water to learn their essential swimming skills.
A recent report by the Royal Life Saving Society revealed that only 1 in 4 Aussie kids stayed in swimming lessons long enough to learn the skills that could save their lives. That means a whopping 75% of kids are pulled out of the water too soon.
Kids who take weekly lessons are expected to reach the national swimming standard by age ten. Yet according to Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Justin Scarr “many children exit swimming lessons at an age where they are less likely to learn the lifesaving skills that will protect them”.
Because young children are removed from lessons to soon, the study reported that:
• 83% of 12-year-olds couldn’t tread water for two minutes
• 40% couldn't swim 50 metres of freestyle or backstroke
• 33% couldn’t swim 25 metres of survival strokes.
It also found that parents often overestimated their children's swimming and safety abilities.
Reaching the minimum standard is important to learn as a child, as it follows through with them for the rest of their life. By not meeting the standard, they become more vulnerable as teenagers.
Teenagers often undertake more dangerous activities, ocean swimming, boating, snorkelling etc. and are less likely to be supervised.
"People understand that drowning is an issue, yet they make choices that put their children at grave risk", says Justin Scarr.
Parents are strongly urged to reassess the skills of their children, and use the winter to improve their water safety ready for summer.< Back to Blog