YMCA Healthy Living Magazine YMCA summer 2020-21 - Page 11

SWIMMING AND WATER SAFETY EDUCATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR CHILDREN , AND CAN BE LOADS OF FUN !

shallows while your children learn to find their balance and regain their floating , kicking and paddling skills are a great way to reintroduce aquatic competency .
} Take the lead and make some time to visit your local pool before heading away to the beach . Encourage your children to practice walking through water , floating , jumping in and returning to the edge , climbing out without the ladder , treading water and swimming survival strokes . Be sure to get in and join them ! Adults need skill revision just as much as children do . Once again , the 2020 Royal Life Saving Australia Drowning Report has reminded us all that the skills of swimming , survival swimming and basic rescue are lifesavers for people of all ages . It showed an encouraging 12 % decrease on the 10-year average for the total number of fatal drowning incidents that took place across 2019 / 2020 . However , with 752 people losing their lives or being significantly impacted through a fatal or non-fatal drowning incident , we must keep water safety at the forefront .
Swimming and water safety education is essential for children , and can be loads of fun ! Programs are delivered at your local Y across the summer break , and from February , weekly for the entire year . Remembering that children may have missed many lessons in 2020 , they may feel anxious coming back to swimming lessons . We understand and are here to help .
Our teachers have been trained in COVID-safe practices with lessons being modified to suit our current environment . They have also taken the time to consider how children will be feeling when returning to lessons and understand skills may have declined .
If you have a young child returning to lessons , reassure them that their feelings are completely normal - maybe even let them know that you ’ re feeling nervous too .
There are no expectations that they will be able to “ perform ” the skills as they previously did , and teachers will be patient with their progression .
For young children , the restart of swimming lessons may be a bit bumpy , so it is important to remain supportive and encourage them through positive reassurance .
Let ’ s all get back in the water this summer and enjoy the many benefits that swimming brings to our lives and our overall wellbeing !
FEATURE ARTICLE SUMMER 2020-2021
YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE 11