Did you know that for every two children that enter the water, only one has adequate swim survival skills? That’s some scary stats!
Royal Lifesaving reports that only 50% of 11 and 12-year-old children can achieve the ‘50 metre Benchmark’ in freestyle, backstroke, survival backstroke, and breaststroke.
Whether you live close to the beach or not, it doesn’t matter. Ensuring your kid can swim is essential. After all, it’s not just the ocean we need to concern ourselves with – there’s backyard pools, creeks and dams.
As parents, we need to recognise how important it is for ALL Aussie kids to reach the standard benchmark. It’s not just about being good at swimming – it’s about being able to survive in and around water.
And it’s not just us who think this.
Dr Justin Coulson weighs in on swim safety
Recently, parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson shared his own insight into why kids swimming lessons should be part of every child’s education. And it makes a lot of sense!
As parents, we hold our children’s safety above all things. It’s important that our children are equipped with the necessary tools to be confident in the water,” – Dr Justin explains.
“Having a child who knows how to swim means more than knowing the basics.”
Indeed it does. Knowing how to swim means being confident in and around water. It’s about knowing the different strokes and water survival skills, as well as being able to swim a decent way unaided.
The most effective way to familiarise your children with water safety and swim skills is through kids swimming lessons. However, a lesson here or there isn’t enough. In fact, it could be undoing all their hard work.
One stroke forward, two strokes back
According to Australia’s leading swim school, Kingswim, many kids are taking ‘swim breaks’ or simply doing a few months of lessons and then stopping. This could be because the child becomes uninterested or because the weather cools down. It could also be simply because parents assume their kids have mastered the basics and believe that’s all they need.
However, this isn’t the case. Children need to know more than just the swimming basics.
“Children should be able to stay afloat and swim unaided for a significant distance just in case they get into strife,” Dr Justin explains.
“It’s this level of ‘knowing how to swim’ that gives your child the best chance at getting themselves out of trouble in the water. Like anything, learning this skill requires consistency to build both confidence and muscle memory.”
I urge parents not to become complacent once children learn the basics of floating or treading water. It’s simply not enough.”
To develop their ability, children need constant exposure to the water, which is why it’s so important to start early and stick with it. Learning to swim is a long-time commitment but it’s a skill all kids (and adults) need, especially in Australia.
Go above and beyond the benchmark
The scary truth is that every year children die due to drowning. Last summer was one of the worst on record for drownings. And this year is shaping up to be another tragic year.
In February two brothers, aged three and five, drowned in the Ross River in Townsville. In August, another little girl, aged nine, drowned in the very same river.
In June, Queensland mum Natasha Scott lost her two-year-old son, Ruben, after he wandered off and drowned in a dam on the property. Two months later, three-year-old Elenore Lindsey also died in a dam at her Sunshine Coast home.
These are just five of the children who have lost their lives in tragic drownings this year. There are several others. Additionally, for every toddler who drowns, another 10 are seriously injured.
No parent wants their child to be a statistic. This is the main reason why parents choose to enroll their kids in swimming lessons and urge their kids to make it to that benchmark level (or well beyond).
After all, we don’t send our kids to school until grade 3 or 4 and then let them drop out. It shouldn’t be this way with swimming either. And, at Kingswim, it’s not.
With a passion for water safety and swim survival, Kingswim is an ideal choice for your child’s water education. And we just so happen to have a GREAT swimming lesson deal . (Simply keep on reading!)
Learn to swim for life
Kingswim is one of Australia’s leading swim schools, providing swimming lessons from babies to teens. What we especially like about Kingswim is that it offers a 12-level swimming program. By the end of it, children will be able to swim 1000 metres non-stop.
This is 20 times the national benchmark of 50 metres but once they reach this level, they will be skilled for life and be able to enjoy all that the water has to offer.
Yes, 1000 metres is a big achievement, but we owe it to our kids to ensure they have this skill. And this often means keeping them engaged in swimming lessons throughout the year.
According to Kingswim Area Manager Anne Brown,
Learning to swim is a big achievement, and one that doesn’t happen overnight or with one term of lessons here and there. Every child is different but the key to learning is practice and consistency.”
However, we know year-round swimming lessons seem a bit tricky, especially if your kids have lots of other activities on. If you find your child is starting to lose interest in swimming, try these tips from Dr Justin:
- Focus on enjoyment, comfort, and developing a routine that feels safe and predictable to them.
- Make it fun. One way to get children comfortable in the water and excited about their lessons is seeing their parents’ positive attitude and enthusiasm for swimming.
- Be encouraging about progress, no matter how small. Small rewards work a treat!
- Acknowledge your child for being brave. If they’re ‘not’ being brave, talk to them each night about what brave things they’ve done that day.
Get started on their swim journey
Whether you’ve got babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age kids or teens, we highly recommend looking into swimming lessons.
Kingswim has 30 years of experience and has delivered more than 14 million lessons. Their programs are available for little kids (from just 12 weeks of age) all the way up to graduate-level swimmers.
Free bathers with Kingswim
Get your child water safe and summer-ready with Kingswim. Enrol now and receive a free* pair of bathers! With 20 different centres around the country, there is bound to be a Kingswim near you!
This is a sponsored post for Kingswim
*T&Cs apply. Visit kingswim.com.au.