There are many ways you can help your children at home to gain confidence and skills – and they’re not all water based!
Play in the Shower or Bath
Students who are afraid or not comfortable submerging their faces can practice in the shower or bath.
The key is to start with a small amount of water (soap and shampoo free of course!) trickling down from the top of their heads – only some will reach their faces and is a great way to slowly introduce them to water on their faces in a familiar and fun environment. You can even encourage your children to wear their goggles in the bath and let them explore at their own pace – they will probably be having so much fun they don’t even realise they have submerged their face! Remember to remain encouraging, do not force it and always supervise them! Every child learns at their own pace.
Taking small steps (to retain the correct position) they can practice walking and soon you will have a penguin in the house!
Summer may have ended but the risk of drowning still remains. It is so important that parents remain vigilant with their children around water, not just at pools and beaches in the warmer months but around the home, especially the bath year-round. Ross Gage, Chief Executive of the Australian Swim Schools Association (ASSA) states that “drowning doesn’t discriminate, and as accidents can occur in nearly any body of water, in any season, and to almost anyone, maintaining skills is paramount.”
According to Royal Life Saving Australia, the majority of bathtub drowning deaths occur when there is an interruption to routine, such as the phone or doorbell ringing. Many parents and carers believe that they’ll only be gone for a minute - but this is enough time for a tragedy to occur.
In Australia, on average, 5 children under the age of five drown, and 47 are hospitalized due to bathtub drowning incidents each year. One in four hospitalizations results in permanent injury such as brain damage. As a parent or carer it is hard to be in all places at once and bath time poses one of the highest risk of drowning for babies and toddlers.
Like Col Jones Swim School, Royal Life Saving are committed to educating parents to reduce the number of drownings. They have developed the Keep Watch @ Bath Time program which informs parents and carers on ways to prevent their children from drowning through Active Supervision. It has four key elements:
Actions to help prevent your child drowning during bath time:
Josephine Moss, Swim School Coordinator.
Josephine and the team at Col Jones Swim School at Hurstville are committed to educating our families on water safety. To see more of the Royal Life Saving Society's bath time safety advice, please visit www.keepwatch.com.au.