Goodstart Echuca reducing the risk of preschool drowning
The team at Goodstart Echuca
has modified its kindergarten program to include twice-weekly water safety lessons.
Centre Director, Jennifer Creighton, said that the location of the centre played a big part in the decision to invest in a swimming program.
“Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in children under five and we live on the Murray, Campaspe and Goulburn rivers, so it is crucial that our children learn the five important steps to reduce the risk of preschool drowning,” she said.
The swimming lessons run over a four week period two days a week and currently, thirteen kindergarten children attend.
At the pool, the children are taught how to enter the water safely, blow bubbles, use their arms to make strokes, put their head under water, float, jump into the water in the deep end, and kick their legs.
Ms Creighton said they take every opportunity to emphasise the safety aspect of living around water.
“Before the program started we invited the swimming teacher to our centre and she gave them a lesson on water safety (“Kids alive do the five”). At the pool they have learned about life jackets and how to swim with them on,” she said.
As well as the swimming lessons, the excursions provide lots of extra opportunities for further learning.
“The children are transported to and from the swimming complex by bus and have learned how to put a seat belt on and off, and how to form a line double file,” she said.
“They have learnt how to dry themselves and to get undressed and dressed again. All these self-help skills will really help them when they do swimming lessons at school next year.”
The five important steps to reduce the risk of preschool drowning are:
- Fence the pool
- Shut the gate
- Teach your kids to swim – it’s great
- Supervise – watch your mate and
- Learn how to resuscitate
For more information, visit the Kids Alive website at https://kidsalive.com.au/