Beating the heat: Water safety education

Water Safety Education: Blue Dolphin Swim teaches water safety to keep children safe
With the latest predictions from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) indicating that the Australian 2023/2024 Summer and Spring seasons are likely to experience extreme heat conditions, it goes without saying many families will be seeking to cool down at local beaches, rivers, and pools (both public swim centres and backyard pools).

WORDS: Tom Wiggett, Operations Manager & Program Development, Blue Dolphin Swim Centre

This presents a unique opportunity to address and educate as many families in the community as possible about water safety and drowning prevention.

The Royal Life Saving (RLS) National Drowning report for 2023 has provided the aquatic industry with crucial information that can help educate the community about the significance of continuous water safety and education. Over the past decade, the summer months of December, January and February have consistently seen the highest percentage of national drownings accounting for 38% of all such incidents.

A particularly alarming statistic from the report is the 21% increase in the drowning deaths in SA in 2022/23 compared to the ten-year average, with 18% of those drowning victims being children aged 0-9 years old. This is a statistic we cannot afford to ignore.

At Blue Dolphin Swim Centre, our program philosophy and commitment is centred around teaching children to swim efficiently and effortlessly through the water. We emphasise the importance of control, balance and ergonomic strokes that work in harmony with the water. While there is no way to ensure swimmers are drown-proof, these elements will undoubtedly better prepare swimmers to respond effectively in an emergency. As an industry we know that for every 10 metres swam in the pool is equivalent to 1 metre in open water environments, the ability to swim 100 metres in open water swimmers need to be able to swim 1km in the pool. This is the achievement at the end of our ‘Learn to Swim’ program.

The summer season brings added aquatic education programs such as Vacswim and Surf-Lifesaving. These programs can complement your child’s regular swimming lessons, offering an opportunity to consolidate and further practise their skills.

It is now more crucial than ever to ensure that children continue to receive consistent education and practice. With the warmer weather approaching, we urge parents not to replace structured swimming lessons with unstructured play and free time.

Let’s work together to ensure that our communities stay safe and informed and that our children are equipped with essential life skills to enjoy the water responsibly.

Image caption: Ayva, Amelia and Ted (L-R) enjoying their weekly lessons with Tom at Blue Dolphin swim centre. 

This image was taken during Blue Dolphin Swim Centre ‘Super Safety week’, where Blue Dolphin swim centre focuses on educating swimmers about water safety outside of regular swimming lessons. This includes water safety rescues and deep-water exploration, demonstrating the use of life jackets to work as an alternate floatation device.

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