Last year, 19 children under five tragically drowned in Australia.
12 in backyard pools.
To help prevent tragic deaths, Poolwerx and Kids Alive have partnered with Southern Highlands swim schools to offer free swimming lessons for children under five from Friday, September 25 to Sunday, October 4 as part of Learn2Swim Week.
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New research from Poolwerx reveals almost a quarter of parents surveyed know someone or directly encountered a near-drowning experience, highlighting the importance of teaching little ones basic water skills to make swimming safe and fun for parents and toddlers.
Over the course of a week, hundreds of swim schools across the country will offer free swimming lessons to children under the age of five as part of the water safety initiative.
Some of the local schools participating in the initiative include:
- Aquabliss, Frensham
- Splish N Splash Aquatic Training, Hill Top
Ex-Olympic swimming coach and Kids Alive founder, Laurie Lawrence has partnered with the world's leading pool franchise business to support the initiative.
"Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death for children under the age of five," Mr Lawrence said.
"It's important kids know how to handle themselves in the water.
"During last year's campaign, the Learn2Swim Week website received over 6,200 lessons requests, which shows the message of water safety is getting through and parents are understanding how vital it is to learn to swim at an early age."
Local Poolwerx representative, Brian Lamarre of Poolwerx Southern Highlands reiterated their commitment to water safety, encouraging parents to take advantage of these free classes.
"We know swimming is a favourite pastime for all Australians, but sadly, we also know toddlers are most at risk of drowning, particularly in backyards," Mr Lamarre said.
"This is why it is crucial to introduce kids to water safety when they are little.
"As the world's largest global franchise pool service brand, we have both the opportunity and responsibility to promote safe water practices in our community.
"Australians are building 20,000 pools in their backyard every year, so Learn2Swim Week remains a really important initiative.
"Swimming lessons are also a great way for parents to bond with their little ones, and create fun waterside memories."
Last year, more than 400 swim schools participated in Learn2Swim Week.
To locate your nearest participating swim school and sign up for a free class, visit www.learn2swimweek.com.
Should swim schools not be not open in certain areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a free class voucher will be issued, valid for 12 months.
Learn2Swim Week is supported by the major industry associations AUSTSWIM, the Australian Swim Schools Association, Swim Australia and World Wide Swim School.
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