Laurie Lawrence joins us to spread the Infant Aquatics message

23 September 2016

The latest Royal Life Saving Society National Drowning Report shows that 21 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia during the 2015-16 financial year, three of those in WA, and drowning continues to be the number one cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5. Each of these deaths represents a family shattered by the loss of a little life far too soon.toddler boy in the pool with his dad during an infant aquatics class

Statistics also show that for every child who fatally drowns in Australia up to 10 more are hospitalised after surviving a non-fatal drowning, and of these around 4 are left with life-long injuries due to hypoxic brain damage.

Royal Life Saving Society WA is determined to keep children and infants safe around water, and one of the core planks in our efforts is the Infant Aquatics program. This program uses songs, games and activities to introduce children to water in an environment where they are dependent on their parent or carer who remains in the water with them, encouraging them to learn basic water familiarisation skills including entries, floating, breathing and movement.

Royal Life Saving Society Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education Trent Hotchkin says “Parents are an integral part of their child's aquatic education by providing guidance and support through activities that provide for the development of water familiarisation, exploration and water safety skills. The Infant Aquatics program also teaches parents the vital importance of ensuring they are within arms-reach of small children at all times around water, and that adult supervision around water is vital to drowning prevention.”Laurie Lawrence, Royal Life Saving's Trent Hotchkin and Bayswater Waves staff member promoting Infant Aquatics
Royal Life Saving Society WA is partnering with water safety advocate Laurie Lawrence to encourage parents to introduce their children to Infant Aquatics lessons as early as possible, with classes available for children aged from just 6 months.

Mr Lawrence is currently promoting Learn to Swim Week, which provides a free swimming lesson for children at participating swim schools across Australia, including some of Royal Life Saving Society WA’s endorsed swim schools. He says “Recent research revealed only 51 percent of parents take their children to swimming lessons. And of those, 14 percent only take the eldest child. This is far too low for a water loving nation like ours, especially when learning to swim is one of the top 5 preventative measures to curb drownings!”

Royal Life Saving Society WA is also hosting swim school open days on Sunday 9th October to provide a free swimming assessment for children, activities and games to introduce them to swimming lessons.

For more information click here.

The Infant Aquatics program is proudly supported by Royal Life Saving Society WA”s Principal Community Partner BHP Billiton.

For more information about Learn To Swim Week click here.
toddler girl sitting on the edge of the pool during an infant aquatics class with grandfather in the water