The SwimSAFER Story
Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death for young children in Australia. Bering aware of the dangers and how you can make your child safer, are the critical elements in preventing your child from becoming a statistic. Swim Australia* believes that raising awareness and education on how easily children can drown, and what can be done to prevent drowning, is the most effective way to save our children. This booklet was designed to increase your awareness and education to increase your awareness and education on drowning prevention.
Each year, approximately 100 families have a child under 5 presented to emergency rooms after an immersion accident. In 2008 – 09, 32 children under 5 died from these drowning accidents. Many times that number are left with some form of permanent brain damage.
Childhood drowning is a crisis in our country. While Australia is blessed with so many wonderful water features – beaches, rivers, creeks and pools – they are all potential water hazards. Aquatic activities are fun and healthy for families to enjoy, but water can also turn to tragedy in a matter of minutes, and without a sound.
Drowning is almost always preventable. Much can be done to make our children SAFER in, on and around water. For Swim Australia, drowning, drowning prevention is about providing as many ‘layers of protection’ around children as possible. By applying the various layers, ‘going for a swim’ can be a fun, healthy family experience – and a much safer one.
Swim Australia believes that the education of parents and caregivers on how to take this multi-faceted approach to drowning prevention, by applying layers of protection, families can enjoy a SAFER aquatic experience. No parent can afford to think ‘that this won’t happen to me’.
Swim Australia designed the SwimSAFER program, primarily to assist Swim Schools ‘live the water safety message’. Swim Schools are uniquely placed to positively influence the swimming and water safety habits of their customers – the parents, caregivers and children. SwimSAFER features a ‘layers of protection’ concept that encompasses the common themes in water safety messages used by various authorities.
*Swim Australia is the Learn-to-Swim and Water Safety division of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA). Through ASCTA, Swim Australia is affiliated with the Australian Water Safety Council, RLSSA’s Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation Committee, the International Federation of Swimming Teachers Associations and Swimming Australia (the sport). Swim Australia was an integral member of the Federal Government’s Reference Committee for the development of the Kids Alive Living With Water DVD – a water safety resource for parents and caregivers of young children.