Half a million Australian children at risk of drowning

The importance of swimming and water safety education has never been more pressing with 50,000 children leaving primary school every year unable to swim.

Participation in swimming lessons has been in decline for the past 10 years and many Australian children are at extreme risk of drowning. Over a 10 year period, this equates to half a million young Australians that are living without basic swimming or water safety skills.

A collaborative approach is paramount to reduce child drowning. Royal Life Saving is calling on the Federal and State Governments to ensure swimming and water safety education become a mandatory component of the new National curriculum. In addition, parents and carers are strongly encouraged to enrol their children into a program that teaches essential skills in personal survival, basic rescue and water safety.

Sadly, many children from lower socio-economic and disadvantaged areas, Indigenous communities, those with multi-cultural backgrounds and children living in rural and remote locations are missing out.

Royal Life Saving and program partner UNCLE TOBYS have established the Swim and Survive Fund to address this issue by ensuring that all Australian children have access to a swimming and water safety education.

“The Swim and Survive Fund aims to raise enough funds to provide 10,000 free Swim and Survive courses by the end of 2012,” said Royal Life Saving Society – Australia CEO Rob Bradley. To find out how you can help, visit www.swimandsurvive.com.au.

Royal Life Saving and UNCLE TOBYS have launched the 2011 Swim and Survive campaign to promote the importance of water safety education and raise awareness of child drowning in Australia. Join the community discussion at www.swimkids.com.au.  

© Copyright 2011 Swim and Survive