What You Can Do to Ensure Your Child’s Swimming Skills Don’t Regress During Lockdown
With the summer fast approaching, there are concerns that Victorian children in particular have regressed in their swimming skills during the lockdown period. With swimming pools closed and families spending all of their time at home, Victorian children have had little to no opportunity to build life-saving water skills over the past months, and this leaves them exposed. Five children, aged 2 and under, have lost their lives due to drowning incidents in the past 2 months alone. Since July, the Victorian drowning toll stands at 12, which is 9 more than the 5-year average.
As the weather warms up and restrictions ease, the demand for water-based activities increases, which is a serious concern for those in the aquatic industry. For this reason, the Victorian Aquatic Industry Alliance, a collective of relevant Learn to Swim associations and businesses, are paving the way to encourage the Government to reclassify the Learn to Swim industry, which currently gets grouped with gyms and recreation centres, to be able to reopen quickly and safely. There is currently no evidence of COVID transmissions in the Learn-to-Swim setting, and there is little to no evidence of children transmitting it to each other. There is also no evidence that COVID can survive in chlorinated water.
In the meantime, parents are encouraged to prepare for a safer summer around water by subscribing to the Paul Sadler Swimland free online content. Whilst nothing beats in-pool swimming lessons, Paul Sadler Swimland have developed a series of online at-home classes based on different age levels.
Parents with babies can sign up to learn fun water familiarisation techniques to help with readiness skills for coming back into the pool environment. Usually Paul Sadler Swimland offer babies 4 & 5 months old to swim for FREE – but given COVID many kids have missed out on these vital lessons! This program, designed by manager of Infant Fun & Knowledge, Shona Pallas, has been specifically created to be easy and fun activities that you can do at home in the bath or shower. These sessions will run over 5 weeks and will be emailed to parents, so they can jump on and watch them when it suits and practise the techniques daily! This program is free and open to everyone. You can sign up here.
Every Tuesday, toddlers and preschoolers can practice at-home techniques to build their confidence and readiness and help families prepare for the summer months ahead. You’ll find these on their Facebook page with a new one going live each Tuesday at 2pm. Each session is short and includes age appropriate activities that you can do at home in the bath or shower.
3-8 year old children have the option to participate in at-home sessions which are designed to help them maintain strength and fitness outside of the pool. Each session runs for approximately 10 – 15mins and include age appropriate activities. All you need is a space that is safe to complete the exercises that is free from sharp corners, coffee tables etc. The swim school recommends a 2.5m x 2.5m open space and children should have a guardian present when completing the activities.
Whilst Victorian families can’t yet get back in the pool, Paul Sadler want to offer families, some things they can do to be ready to get back to swimming as soon as they can. The classes are free and open to everyone.