All Kids Need to Swim

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Swimming with the girls

Swimming with the girls, when they were younger.

More young people are drowning due to not being taught to swim, according to an article on news.com.au. I for one believe it is the high cost of swimming lessons that are causing this. Parents cannot afford to pay for school, other activities and of course swimming lessons.

Quotes from the news.com.au article:

“Royal Life Saving believes that the rapid increase in drowning in young adults … is undeniably linked to a fall in the swimming and water safety skills of children in Australia over the past 10 years,” the organisation said.

“The RLSS believes many families simply can’t afford swimming lessons and having them as part of the curriculum would be one way to ensure all children receive training.”

“It acknowledged that some schools do offer swimming training but said it was often only a few lessons every year.”

We have been fortunate to have the girls have some swimming lessons but cannot afford to do so this year. This is due to the girls going to pre-school and the costs of everything else in between.  In my post “The extreme cost of activities for kids” I mention that it will cost for both kids to do a 10 week term for swimming lessons it will cost us, $280.00. There are four terms per year, so you will need to times $280.00 by four to find out the real cost per year to put kids in swimming lessons. The amount comes to: $1,120.00, so as you can imagine it is a lot of money to find that is extra on top of what you are already paying.

I also touched on the idea to have the schools have swimming lessons as part of the curriculum in my post, ‘Swimming for all, not just for the lucky 10,000’ as I believe this would be beneficial. It would give every child the chance to learn how to swim.   Swimming is a life skill that will save lives.  Money should not be an issue, everyone has the right to know how to swim and it should be part of the school system.

Kids who are around water, or who come into contact with water need to know how to be safe. If they fall in they know how to get out of trouble. What happens if they go to a mates place, they have a pool and this kid cannot swim? Will other kids pick on this child? Will they throw him/her in the pool as a joke due to not believing the child? If this happens and the kid cannot swim, then this is dangerous and of course a possible drowning. However it is preventable and learning how to swim is vital to being safe and of course having fun and participation in water sports.

Being around water and swimming is fun for health and relaxation. Living in Australia we are surrounded by water so one day your child will come into contact with a pool, the sea at the beach or a creek at a farm. It is not only safety with water outside the house; it helps kids know how to get out of trouble even in the bath. My girls have fallen over while playing in the bath and managed to get up unassisted. I do believe that this is due to the training at the pool and the fact that we as parents take them swimming and try and teach them.

Also on The Sydney Morning Heralds article about the rise in drownings, “Mr Bradley (From the RLSS) says about one in five Australian teenagers are entering high school unable to swim 50 metres or even float for two minutes.”  I for one find this shocking, not being able to swim that distance and also not able to float for 2 minutes, my kids are four and they can swim, well dog paddle mostly the length of a pool and also to float for more than 2 minutes.

I agree with the RLSS and would like to see the school system take on board swimming lessons for all children. What are your thoughts? Do you find it tough to pay for swimming lessons? Do your kids swim? If all kids could swim, it would making a safer world for kids.  Send in your comments

Why not continue the discussion on our twitter (when on twitter use #kidsafety) or facebook pages.

Disclaimer:  ‘I am participating in the National Kidsafe Day Blogger Competition to support and promote child safety, along with the added bonus of chances to win prizes. All opinions are my own and not those of Kidsafe. To find out more or to enter the competition, please visit www.kidsafe.com.au

 

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