According to a research conducted by Royal Life Saving, there has been a rapid increase in drowning amongst young adults aged 15-24, and this has been linked to the poor water safety programs set in place for children in Australia. A 2016 report found 280 people to have drowned in Australian waterways over the past year—83% of them being males, and 17% being females . Despite such shocking results, very little has been done by the government to prevent accidents caused by our lack of training in water safety and swimming—e.g. implementing compulsory swimming programs in primary schools .
By helping each other raise awareness about the importance of learning to swim, a significant difference can still be made. If you’re a parent debating whether or not to send your child to swim school, please have a read of the reasons why we think you should invest in this key life-saving skill:
- It’s a fantastic sport to increase fitness! Not only is swimming known to cause the least sports-related injuries in kids, it makes use of the body’s major muscle groups—significantly increasing our strength and flexibility.
- Swimming brings about great cardiovascular benefits, effectively supporting the health of our heart and lungs. It also—along with other physical activities—helps reduce risks of developing childhood obesity.
- As swimming is a sport that requires excellent coordination—between different body movements and stable breathing—it trains us well for other out-of-water situations that require coordination skills too.
- Water safety is one of the most important reasons why swimming lessons for kids must be encouraged. Familiarising your child with water safety rules and helping them build confidence in swimming, will greatly decrease the chances of water-related accidents from occurring in the future.
- When we think about it, swimming is amongst the few sports that can help save lives. Drowning is known to be a common cause of accidental death in children, and so ensuring that your child grows into a confident swimmer is crucial in keeping them safe around water.
- Swimming helps build confidence. As children go through each stage of training, they will naturally learn to face challenges and see the purpose in working towards a goal and making accomplishments.
- Learning to swim opens up other exciting opportunities to experience—e.g. kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, surfing, and yachting.
For further information on the ‘No Child To Miss Out: Basic swimming & water safety education – The right of all Australia children’ research conducted by Royal Life Saving – Australia, please visit: www.royallifesaving.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0014/4901/RLS_BasicSwimmingReport20122.pdf