Friday, 29 January 2010

Water Safety

302 Australians drowned in 2009. This is a big number in spite of all the media campaigns and water safety programs that warn people against the dangers of water. Many of the young children who drowned lost their lives in backyard swimming pools. They did not have adult supervision at the time.
It is law in Australia that a swimming pool at the backyard of a home must have a fence. This fence stops very young children from getting too close to the water and put their lives in danger.
At public swimming pools there are life guards who supervise swimmers from all ages. They make sure that young children who can't swim keep away from the deep areas in the pool.
Children in primary schools in Australia learn basic swimming skills every year but more practice is needed to make them more confident. Parents have to pay for these lessons. These swimming programs make children gain confidence in the water with help from qualified swimming instructors. Parents are encouraged to take their children to local swimming pools and talk to them about dangers in the water. Children can start to learn how to swim at a very young age through water familiarisation programs.
The CEO of the Royal Life Saving Society wants parents to learn to provide CPR in case their children are in life-threatening situations.
Major companies in Australia provide money to help the Royal Life Saving Society save more people who are in danger in the water.
On TV there are campaigns to teach swimmers what to do if there is a rip. Rips can happen any time. They are dangerous even to experienced swimmers because they drag people away from the shore. The best thing that people can do is to swim parallel to the beach until it is safe enough for them to get out of the water.
If you swim at a beach and feel that your life is in danger, try to keep your head above the water. Breathe from your mouth and not your nose. Raise your arm and wave until the life guards see you. They will come quickly and take you to safety.