Battle Drowning by Letting your Kids “Learn2Swim” at the Hampton Swim School in Morningside

This year’s “Learn2Swim Week” initiative kicks off at the Hampton Swim School on Monday, the 25th, all the way to Friday, the 29th of September. As a Learn2Swim partner, the Hampton Swim School will be holding free introductory swimming classes at both of their pools in Morningside State School and Norman Park State School.

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Julia Ham, a former Australian swimming representative, established the Hampton Swim School in 1999. The swim school provides essential water safety and life skills through their tailoured programs for all ages, from infancy to adulthood.


Learn2Swim 2017

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Learn2Swim Week is an initiative backed by the Kids Alive – Do The Five campaign that will run from the 23rd of September to the 2nd of October. The goal of the initiative is to give every child, especially children under 5 years, the chance to learn swimming. Learn2Swim is about reminding everyone, particularly parents, about the importance of water safety. This initiative will educate parents that teaching basic swimming to kids under 5 years of age should be encouraged.

According to Kids Alive, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children, worldwide. In the 2017 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, there were 29 reported drowning deaths in children under the age bracket of 0-4 years old between the 1st of July 2016 and the 30th of June 2017. This is a 32 percent increase on last year’s drowning deaths. Swimming pools were the leading location for drowning among this age group.

Hundreds of swim schools from all over Australia, including the Hampton Swim School, are participating to reduce this drowning statistics through teaching vital water safety and life skills.


Kids Alive – Do The Five

Laurie Lawrence, former Australian Rugby Union Representative and Olympic and World Champion swim coach, established Kids Alive – Do The Five in 1998 to combat drowning. This campaign focuses on informing the public about the five fundamental steps to reduce the risk of preschool drowning.

According to the Kids Alive, here are the five important proactive tips to prevent drowning.


1. Fence the Pool.

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The mandatory pool fencing legislation was introduced in 1991, requiring all pools to be properly fenced. Despite this, children under 5 years of age continue to drown in backyard pools due to poor pool fencing. It’s important that pool owners abide the state government’s pool fencing legislation.

Pool fence should be well-maintained. Always clear the fence; children can climb over using objects leaning against it. Failure to comply with the fencing legislation can result to heavy fines; tragically, it can also result to accidents.


2. Shut the Gate

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Never leave the gates open; it’s one of the causes of drowning accidents. Self-closing hinges on pool gates are required. The latch should always be checked and replaced if it’s faulty. Do remember that all doors, including dog doors and cat doors if you have a backyard pool, should be closed especially if there are infants crawling around. Small children can easily crawl through small openings.


3. Learn to Swim

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Of course, it’s vital that kids know how to swim. Learn2Swim is a good example of swimming classes that provide free water safety lessons to all parents and their children. Learning to swim does not just eliminates some risks of drowning, but also provides health benefits to children.

Laurie was afflicted by Bronchiectasis during his childhood. It is a condition where the bronchial tubes of the lungs are permanently damaged, widened, and thickened. He was advised to pursue swimming to improve his lung function after his surgery. This turned out to be life-changing advice because he found his real passion and great love for swimming.

Swimming is one of the healthiest ways to get your kids moving, but still remains to be a relaxing form of exercise. Moving the whole body against the resistance of the water is a great workout. It builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness. More importantly, swimming helps maintain a healthy heart and lungs.


4. Supervise

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Supervision around water is an absolute necessity. Children in their early years are curious and often drawn to water. Do not, by any chance, leave your kids unattended. Floatation devices are not reliable and should not replace adult supervision.

There are also instances that parents and guardians leave small kids under the supervision of older siblings or older kids. This is not advisable; they’re also kids. They can easily be distracted and may not be able to act in an emergency situation. The bottomline is that adults are responsible for the supervision of children.


5. Learn to Resuscitate

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No matter how vigilant you are in taking safety precautions, accidents can always happen. Think of Murphy’s Law. It’s important that every parent and every supervising adult learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Prompt, competent first aid can save lives.

There are different ways to perform CPR to toddlers and babies. St. John Ambulance Australia and Life International Training provide first aid trainings, including CPR to kids and infants.

Get involved! Let your kids “Learn2Swim”. Visit the Hampton Swim School website and register for the free classes. You can also visit Learn2Swim website to check out other schools that will participate in this year’s initiative to reduce the risk of drowning.