Swimming and Water Safety is important all year round. LSV’s 2017/2018 Drowning Report states that in the previous decade (2007/08 to 2016/17) 22% of Victorian drowning deaths occurred in autumn and 20% occurred in winter respectively. Drowning can occur at any time. Swimming and water safety education is everyone’s responsibility, no matter the colour of the leaves, sky or time of year!
You can use the following information to educate parents on the importance of swimming all year round.
MYTH: Having a break from swimming will not affect a child’s water confidence
Fact: Swimming is commonly a confidence-based activity for children. Learning to trust new teachers, pool depths and even a new aquatic activity can be a big hurdle for some.
Returning after a break can rattle a child’s confidence; hindering their skill progression. Maintaining a regular swimming practice in the months leading up to summer can enhance confidence in the water (and other water environments – such as baths), and therefore enjoyment of water-based, family activities.
MYTH: Having a ‘few weeks’ break from lessons will not affect a student’s skill progression
Fact: Children spend more time in and around water during the warmer months, thereby increasing the risk of drowning. Children who stop swimming lessons over winter tend to forget or regress in their swimming skills, especially if their long-term skill retention and muscle memory are in the early development stages.
Children are more likely to progress and retain their skills if they continue to practice water safety and awareness lessons learnt during the warmer months.
MYTH: Swimming in winter makes children sick
Fact: Swimming keeps children fit and active throughout the year. Children who swim throughout winter are less likely to become sick, as they are often maintaining their fitness and stronger immune systems than those who don’t swim. However, it is always important to dress appropriately when leaving the pool! To reduce the likelihood of illness, Children should be thoroughly dried, dressed warmly and consider using a beanie to assist in maintaining body temperature. It is not recommended to leave the pool wrapped in a wet towels or swimwear.
Other benefits to swimming in Winter:
- Demand for lessons is lower given Term 1 and 2 are peak periods, it can often be easier to secure a place for your child in winter classes.
- Classes tend to be smaller in winter, which reduces the child to teacher ratio. This also enables more personalised learning during class time.