As Metropolitan Melbourne clocked its 200th cumulative day in lockdown, Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is encouraging families to continue water safety education from the home environment.
To support families to continue the development of their kids’ vital water safety skills, LSV developed a Water Safety @ Home series during last year’s lockdown, which provides practical sessions for children to tune into online.
As we persevere through lockdowns into 2021, the sessions are not only a practical way to stay active while missing swimming lessons, but they also provide valuable water safety, first aid, CPR and swimming tips which can be achieved from home.
“Victorian children missed approximately 5 million swimming lessons in 2020 due to COVID-19 lockdowns,” LSV general manager of education, sport and club development Kate Simpson said.
“With our Water Safety @ Home series, we hope to help families with children stay engaged with swimming lessons and water safety education, even if they are unable to visit their local pool.
“Our Swimming @ Home program provides seven distinct sessions that teach the fundamentals of swimming, survival strokes, rescues and CPR. All are delivered dry and require no in-water practice.
“All you need to participate is internet access, a laptop or tablet, household items like water bottles and cushions, and comfortable clothing, or even a rash vest if you feel like getting into character!”
Water Safety @ Home has programs for ages ranging from early childhood to upper primary school age, such as the eight-episode Water Safety Watch & Learn which has four episodes aimed at pre-school to year two, two episodes for year three to four and another two for years five and six.
For families with toddlers, interactive lessons can still be done around the home, with active parent supervision, in a bathtub, sink, blow up pool or plastic shell pool to ensure children are comfortable and confident in the water during their formative years.
“The Kids Alive water safety program has a great video resource on how you can use bath time to introduce basic learn to swim skills in a safe and fun environment,” Ms Simpson said.
“During bath time and under adult supervision, parents and caregivers can help children practice breath control, submersion, back floating, kicking and paddling skills.”
While LSV encourages families to continue water safety education and practice, families with children are also reminded of the potential water hazards that could be in your home.
“Parents must remember to regularly check in and around the home to ensure it is safe for young children,” Ms Simpson said.
“Swimming pools, bathtubs, buckets of water, animal water bowls and ice boxes with melted ice are just some of the hazards that could be in and around your home.
“Adults must maintain active supervision of children around water, never leave children in the bath or pool alone and keep children under five within an arm’s reach and children under 10 always within your sight around water.
“Remember, 20 seconds is all it takes for a child to drown in as little as a few centimetres of water.”
LSV’s Water Safety @ Home program can be found on our website.