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Free learn-to-swim lessons for youngsters

THE Plantation Swim School at Gumdale has thrown its support behind national Learn2Swim Week, offering free swimming lessons to children aged under five, in a bid to kerb childhood drowning.

James Poma from Poolwerx Manly West, the company behind October’s week-long event, said the response from local swim schools had been fantastic and he was urging parents to take advantage of the free swimming lessons for their under-fives.

“Last year there were tragically 29 drowning deaths in children aged 0-4 years, with three quarters of these deaths resulting from a fall into the water,” Mr Poma said.

“That is why it is so important to familiarise kids with water at an early age and swimming lessons can provide under-fives with the lifesaving skills they need to know to get themselves out of trouble.”

Mr Poma said Learn2Swim Week was helping to get the message across to parents that children could begin water familiarisation lessons from as early as four months of age and that by 18 months of age, children who had attended regular swimming lessons had the skills they needed to get themselves safely back to the side of the pool.

“Our survey of parents who participated in Learn2Swim Week last year showed that 60% went on to enrol their under-fives in regular swimming lessons.

“The free swimming lessons our local swim schools are providing during Learn2Swim Week give parents the opportunity to get their under-fives familiar with water and see first-hand the benefits of teaching them lifesaving water skills.”

Laurie Lawrence from Kids Alive – Do the Five is the program ambassador and has once again partnered with Poolwerx to deliver the initiative.

He said local swim schools were again showing they were at the forefront of water safety awareness in young children.

“Learn2Swim Week has been running for four years now and each year we get more and more swim schools participating.

“Local swim schools like The Plantation Swim School are helping us to reach our goal of zero drownings in under-fives and I encourage all parents with children under five to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”

Learn2Swim Week will run from October 2-9.

Parents can visit www.learn2swimweek.com for details.

Read the full article on the Brisbane Courier Mail website.

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