How important is it to teach your child to swim?
Teaching water safety is as essential as teaching your child to put on a seat belt, especially in our region.
Due to the climate and surroundings that draws us towards water, all children need to be familiar with water safety. Backyard pools, apartment pools, public pools, the lagoon, lakes, rivers, gorges, creeks, dams, beaches, and the reef all offer retreat and enjoyment, but only if you can rest assured knowing you and your child can handle the situation.
Continued learn-to-swim lessons allow your child to use their aquatic skills well into the future. These classes:
- Build confidence in and around water
- Promote a healthy, active lifestyle
- Can help them in sporting activities such as triathlon, surfing, diving, snorkelling and water polo
- Will provide peace of mind when around water
What swimming level is sufficient?
Many say swimming 50 metres, but I feel this is a little underdone. Swimming 50 metres doesn’t quite provide a skill level or the strength required to be able to handle situations such as a rip, current, fatigue or wet clothing.
Although it can take dedication and time, I recommend teaching children to swim the four strokes and for over 200 metres. This level of swim skill can ensure they are strong enough to handle situations, should they arise. This technique will also stay with them through adult life. After all, water skill and safety are important for both children and adults of all ages and abilities.
Kirk Donaldson is the Director of Swimming at St Augustine’s College, Parramatta Park