Hedland tots continue their water safety education

12 March 2021
Aboriginal mum and young daughter playing together in a poolFollowing on from last year's success, the Mums and Bubs Splash Time initiative in Port Hedland is continuing in 2021. The program commenced on Thursday 4th March and will run for 10 weeks, delivering customised water safety education and infant aquatics lessons.

The program is a collaboration between Royal Life Saving WA and Gumala Aboriginal Corporation, a Pilbara-based organisation supporting local Aboriginal people with health and educational resources. Thanks to Royal Life Saving WA’s Principal Community Partner BHP, Gumala parents can attend the lessons free of charge. 

young Aboriginal boy blowing bubbles in a poolRoyal Life Saving WA Pilbara Development Officer Lauren Thompson is delivering the program, helping the children learn through play. “The little ones are engaged in water familiarisation activities and are learning to maintain their centre of balance when in the water at various depths through immersion and submersion games,” says Lauren.

They perform simple activities such as blowing bubbles in the water to familiarise themselves with putting their faces in the water. Lauren also reads them ‘The Adventures of Dippy Duck’ as part of the program. “The story introduces the importance of supervision and learning to swim, in an age-appropriate format as part of water safety education,” she says.

“Parents and guardians are also being educated on the differences between toddler proprioception and experiences within the water compared to what adults experience, due to body proportions and intellectual cognition.”

Aboriginal mum and toddler son practice arm's reach in the poolParents are practising the Keep Watch program’s tips for keeping their children safe around the water, including taking an active supervision role with their young ones. “The Gumala parents are learning what ‘within arm’s reach’ physically entails and the importance of active supervision,” says Lauren. 

Learn more about Royal Life Saving WA’s toddler drowning prevention program, Keep Watch, at the link below.
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