Babies the key to cutting national drowning figures
Australia’s largest national swim school provider is urging parents to keep children’s drowning figures on a downward trend as statistics today reveal an overall increase in national drowning deaths this year.
JUMP! Swim Schools managing director Ian Campbell said,
“The more children we have learning the life skill of swimming, the more chance we will see drowning statistics decline.”
Every child should have the chance to learn to swim
JUMP! had identified the demand for learn to swim in regional and remote centres, many of which had no pubic swimming pools or swim schools, as part of its aim to ensure more Australian children were competent and exposed to the fundamental life skill of swimming and water safety, he said.
“The iconic Australian lifestyle centres around water-based activities whether it’s surfing or sailing on the coast, rowing or skiing on our rivers, fishing or canoeing in our lakes, or enjoying family time in the backyard pool or hotel resort.
“At the very foundation of these activities is water confidence. This confidence and ensuing journey through water should begin as early as three months of age and continue all year round.”
Mr Campbell said parents who were seeking swimming lessons for babies were driving the growth of the JUMP! group that only opened its first franchise in mid-2014 on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
“At JUMP! we have put specialised education back into learn-to-swim by crafting a tailored, competency-based program that is backed by the latest child care and teaching research.
“Over 50 per cent of students are aged under two years and that is testament to our understanding of how capable babies are and our abilities to teach babies as young as three months of age.
“We are committed to ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn swimming as a life skill and are doing this by opening sites in rural areas and regional communities lacking a public swimming pool as well as high growth regions without adequate pool facilities.”
Royal Life Saving Society Australia working to prevent drowning and facilitate healthy, active lifestyles
The new Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2016 released today showed while overall drowning numbers increased by 5 per cent, the number of children aged 0–4 years who drowned totalled 21. The report found the 21 drowning deaths was 30 per cent below the 10-year average.
Mr Campbell commended Royal Life Saving commitment to reducing the number of drowning deaths in Australia and supports Royal Life Saving Society Australia CEO Justin Scarr in urging parents to ensure that their children participate in programs to build vital water safety skills to prevent drowning and promote lifelong safe aquatic activity.
JUMP! Swim Schools — with 44 centres open across the country, a further 50 to open within the next six months, along with a new presence in New Zealand, Singapore and Brazil — is specialist in early years swim teaching for children and babies from three months of age.
Mr Campbell said,
“Children under five are a high priority for drowning prevention initiatives and the statistics reinforce the importance of all children to develop water confidence and swimming skills by the time they are primary school age.”
Mr Campbell said the report reinforced the need for swimming to be taught early as a life skill for all Australians, with inland waterways continuing to be a leading location for drowning.