WITH the warmer weather fast approaching, Friends Health & Fitness is urging parents to think about the importance of swimming lessons in their children’s education.
A recent Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report revealed that 271 people, including nine Tasmanians, drowned in Australian waterways in 2014/2015.
Friends Health & Fitness centre manager Belinda Lewis said it was a parent’s responsibility to ensure children were safe in and around water.
“It is crucial that children begin to learn or continue to enhance their water safety skills,” she said.
“That is why Friends Health & Fitness is offering children from the age of three-years the opportunity to participate in the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive learn-to-swim program.”
Swim and Survive is a national swimming and water safety initiative of Royal Life Saving that increases swimming and water safety skills of Australian children to prevent drowning and increase participation in aquatic activity.
The program offers a range of levels which children can progress through as they develop their swimming techniques and basic survival skills.
Mrs Lewis said lessons provided by schools were simply not enough to ensure children were safe in the water.
“Swimming is a great school initiative, but children need ongoing lessons in order to develop sound water safety and swimming skills,” she said.
“Sadly, each year Australian children drown in swimming pools, baths, rivers, dams or at the beach and I cannot comprehend what a parent would go through if this happened.
“Children need ample opportunity to develop a lifestyle skill that can be enjoyed in later years.”
Mrs Lewis urged Tasmanians to help prevent drownings by wearing a lifejacket, actively supervising children, learning CPR, avoiding alcohol consumption around water and learning important lifesaving skills.
Friends Health & Fitness offers lessons after school, on Saturday mornings and during school holidays for children aged three years and older.
Children who have not swum at Friends Health & Fitness will require a free 10-minute assessment prior to enrolment to assess their level.
For more information or to enrol in the Swim and Survive learn-to-swim program, phone Friends Health & Fitness on 6210 2241.
Caption: Children from the age of three-years have the opportunity to participate in the Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive learn-to-swim program being delivered by Friends Health & Fitness.