Learning vital water safety skills

  • Date: 29 May 2018
  • Category: Programs
IMG 0320

You’re never too young to learn basic water rescue skills according to the experienced team of YMCA Swimming Lessons teachers at Wangaratta Indoor Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Children have been learning water safety knowledge and basic rescue skills as part of Water Safety Week this week.

Bec Pople, Aquatic Programs Specialist at the centre says Water Safety Week has been fully embraced by parents and children alike. 

“A large focus of our program is not only developing swimming technique, but also giving children life-like experiences and discussions so that they have some knowledge of what to do in an emergency situation such as unexpectedly falling into water. 

“One of the skills that we introduce within our lessons is the effect of wearing clothing in water, so we have encouraged the children to wear their pyjamas or light clothing this week.”

To add to the life-like experience, children have been encouraged to participate in the lesson without their swimming goggles. “Children who become accustomed to wearing goggles may panic if they find themselves in a situation where they are fully clothed and fall into the water unexpectedly.  They may keep their eyes closed instead of open to look for safety and how to get out of trouble.

The children have also practised assisted rescues such as using a swimming noodle to tow someone to safety.

“We also continually talk to the children about being wary when around any sort of water and always swim with supervision.  It’s amazing what the kids will take on about water safety and they really enjoy doing it.”

YMCA Swimming lessons are offered throughout the day 7 days a week and children are placed into small classes of the same age and ability.  There are sessions for age 6 months through to squad classes.