Water the biggest threat to kids in summer

LEARN TO SWIM: Zara Kunnerfeld learning to swim and save lives at Affinity Swim in Norman Gardens.
LEARN TO SWIM: Zara Kunnerfeld learning to swim and save lives at Affinity Swim in Norman Gardens. Allan Reinikka Rokaswim

IF SOMEONE is drowning, Jovi Milner and Zara Kunnerfeld know what to do.

Thanks to Sandra MacBeth at Affinity Swim, the young Rockhampton swimmers have been trained to use a pool noodle to rescue someone drowning and call 000.

As Summer school holidays begin across the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast regions, Ms MacBeth wants to know if your kids are safe for the holidays.

"We can't stress how important it is to be water safe," Ms MacBeth said.

"We at Affinity Swim are ready. Every year before the holidays during summer we have a Water Safety Week and this year we teamed up with Swimming Australia to get our message across.

"Our aim is to remind everyone how dangerous water can be and how to be safe around water."

From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, 271 people drowned in Australia - an increase of five people compared to last year.

Of those drownings, 35 were children aged between 0-14 years old and 62 occurred in Queensland.

With so many children drowning, Ms MacBeth said Affinity Swim was determined to make a difference.

"Most drownings are in January, so watch your kids in the holidays," the swim instructor said.

"In our climate people are always cooling off in the water, whether it be in a pool, river, dam, creek or at the beach.

"We explain to the kids that they must always have an adult with them at all times when they are in or near water.

"We also show them how to save someone else who is in trouble without putting themselves at risk.

"The different types of thing that can be used to save people in these circumstances are also discussed, shown and practised.

"Other information we tell them is emergency numbers from home 000 and from a mobile phone wherever you are, 112."

As the children get older, Ms MacBeth said CPR is also introduced.

Ms MacBeth urged everyone to take care around the water.

"Even if you are a confident swimmer, you must have supervision," she said.

"Accidents can happen at any time.

"Affinity Swim always practices to be safe in and around water; it is so important to teach your kids to swim.

"It only takes seconds for a child to drown and it is so quiet that you don't hear a thing."


Drowning statistics from July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

 271 people drowned in Australia

 62 drowned in Queensland

 35 children drowned

 Most drownings occur in January

Topics:  kids summer water water safety

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