Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is alarmed about a spike in fatal drowning in Victoria, with 8 more deaths compared to the average this financial year. There have been 40 reported drowning deaths across the state from 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2017 which is 8 more than the five year average (32) for the same period.
Similar to previous years, males continue to be overrepresented in the drowning toll, while young children (0-4 years) and adults aged 65 years and over have the highest drowning rates per head of population.
Whilst the rise in the drowning toll is of concern, there is opportunity to do much more to prevent this from continuing to rise. Schools, kindergartens, child care centres and many more education settings are in a perfect position to make a difference.
Water safety education can be delivered in both a practical setting at a pool or open waterway or in the classroom. You will find many resources and programs available to further support you on the LSV website underneath the Education Tab. Just click HERE to access.
In addition, LSV are committed to working closely with Government, schools and the aquatic industry to address the lack of swimming competency in children leaving primary school and we will continue to advocate so that no child misses out on learning survival swimming.
Water Safety Education though is not just limited to children. In the education setting we are fortunate enough to have access to the wider community including family and friends. Information can be put in weekly newsletters, parent emails and student blogs or perhaps your students after researching water safety in their community, could conduct a community water safety information session at your school. Key Water Safety Messages may include:
- Always swim with a family member of friend where possible
- Swim Between the Red and Yellow Flags
- Know how to spot and avoid rip currents
- Be aware and prepared for conditions which can change quickly
- Read safety signs to understand any potential dangers
- Learn survival swimming and water safety skills
- Make sure you are aware of your own abilities before entering the water
- Actively supervise your children
- Always wear a Lifejacket while boating
We would love to share these messages to as many people as possible and encourage all Victorians to stay alert in and around the water and take extra care for their own safety and those they care for. Not only will this contribute towards lowering the Victorian drowning toll, it will ensure Victorians to enjoy all aquatic environments safely.
Got a great idea, activity or suggestion for promoting water safety to the wider school community? Share with us now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.