In 2017, over 290 drowning cases were reported in Australia. In a bid to reduce the cases of drowning, the Australian government has partnered with Swimming Australia will ensure children have access to basic swimming skills and water education. Children all over Australia will soon be able to enjoy swimming as part of their regular routine.
Children and young adults between 1- 19 years of age are more prone to drowning- related accidents according to World Health Organization. When left unsupervised, toddlers can drown in as little as 5 cm of water. Male children are over presented in drowning cases all over the world. Drowning cases are often do not only affect families but also peers of victims. It is as a matter of fact a worldwide public health hazard, often underrated.
Equipping them with basic swimming skills will enable survival and possibly reduce drowning incidents. The introduction of swimming as part of the curriculum will not only be a fun and interactive way to bond just like physical education but also equip children with this essential life skill. This should be in addition to first aid skills. This move will also encourage awareness amongst children with regards to identifying potential drowning – hazard areas such as dams, lakes, rivers etcetera.
We at Swim Africa, as leading providers of swimming instruction and survival skills, are in full support of this move by the Australian Government and encourage its implementation to other countries as well.