Swimming instructor Anne McDonnell tips fully-clothed students Bailey Nolan, 5; Olivia Kahler, 4; and Johnathon Tydings, 3; into the water to teach them how to react in an emergency.
Swimming instructor Anne McDonnell tips fully-clothed students Bailey Nolan, 5; Olivia Kahler, 4; and Johnathon Tydings, 3; into the water to teach them how to react in an emergency. Craig Warhurst

Water safety lesson

THE recent near-drowning of a toddler found in a bin full of water at Imbil has highlighted the importance of water safety knowledge, especially now summer is approaching.

Water Safety Week plays an important role in reminding us how to stay safe in and around the water, but also reminds parents and caregivers about the importance of teaching children to swim.

Johnathon Tydings, 3, came up gasping for air when he was thrown off a floatation device, fully-clothed, as part of Deep Blue Aquatic Swim Centre’s drowning education program this week.

Even though he cried his eyes out, mum Emma said it was important her son learned to deal with potential life-threatening situations which were not necessarily taught in general learn-to-swim classes.

She said Johnathon had been going to swimming classes since he was six months old but he was still never safe around water. Emma said the Swim Safer classes were teaching him how to react if he accidentally fell in the water.

Deep Blue’s owner Libby Manthey runs water safety classes every term for babies through to primary school-aged children.

“I can’t stress how important it is to teach children water safety techniques, especially since the number of drowning deaths has increased in recent years and the school holidays are coming up,” she said.

DID YOU KNOW?

  •  The greatest cause of accidental death for young children in Australia is drowning.
  •  Each year about 100 children under 5 present to emergency rooms after an immersion accident.
  •  In 2009-0, 33 children under 5 died from these drowning accidents.
  •  About the same number of children is left with some form of permanent brain damage.
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