Drowning is silent and seconds save lives

This is the key message for parents in the Countdown to Summer reports Emily McNeill

Summer is less than one month away and now more than ever, swim safety is a hot topic among families as the pandemic paused  swimming lessons resulting  in a national skills regression.

Helping put an end to child drownings, the nation’s peak swim school industry body, the Australian Swim School Association (ASSA), is supporting hundreds of swim schools and families nationally in sharing the water safety message.

They are reminding families that seconds count when it comes to child drownings and it’s not only the pool that offers risk – bathtubs, kiddie pools and ponds are also hazardous.

You cannot always hear when a child is in danger and that is why prevention is crucial.  Having an emergency action plan – should the other layers of protection be broken – is essential.

If you haven’t thought about what you would do if there was an emergency in or around water, here are the top tips:

1) If a child is missing, check any water areas FIRST – seconds count
2) Ensure everyone who cares for your child, including you, knows CPR
3) Have an Emergency Action Plan in place, especially if you have a home pool or live close to a waterway
4) Ensure all the other layers of protection are around your child – supervision, barriers and swimming and water safety skills – dealing with an emergency is the second line of defence.

The ASSA strongly encourages all families with young children to have a discussion focusing on what to do if a family member finds themselves in danger and build an emergency plan to refer to.

To open the conversation around safer swimming, the ASSA is launching the Countdown to Summer Series on November 1.

Launched in 2020, the Countdown to Summer Series is a water safety campaign that helps educate parents by offering tips to prevent drownings and non-fatal drownings at home. It also shares the vital water safety messaging year-round and incorporates ASSA’s friendly mascots, the SAFERwater Warriors.
Each SAFERwater Warrior (Glide, Skye, Force and Dash) has a vital message attached to them and is designed as a fun approach to spreading vital water safety messages.

Swimming Skills = GLIDE
Adult Supervision = SKYE
Fences & Gates = FORC
Emergency Action Plan = DASH

The Australian Swim Schools Association is a not for profit founded in 2016 and it is the national peak industry body for swim schools and learn to swim businesses, teaching swimming and water safety.