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Kids learn how to use their 'noodle' in Water Safety Week

Instructor Sandra MacBeth, with her Ava Hinchcliffe, 3, Hannah McBryde, 4 (on side of pool). Looking on Sean Manning, 3, and Zan Glazebrook, 3. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Instructor Sandra MacBeth, with her Ava Hinchcliffe, 3, Hannah McBryde, 4 (on side of pool). Looking on Sean Manning, 3, and Zan Glazebrook, 3. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka

FOUR-YEAR-OLD Hannah McBryde lies flat on her stomach at the edge of the pool.

She steadies herself and casts a pool noodle out to the waiting hands of young Ava Hinchcliffe.

Ava grabs hold and is pulled to safety.

Swim instructor Sandra MacBeth closely monitors the exercise in the pool at Affinity Swim in Rockhampton.

The girls are taking part in Water Safety Week, run by the swim school each year in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays.

The exercises are run in conjunction with the normal swim sessions for children aged three to 14.

Sandra is passionate about water safety and believes children should be taught to swim as early as they are physically able.

"Our aim is to remind everyone how dangerous water can be and how to be safe around water," she said.

"Too many kids drown and we are here to prevent it.

"Swimming is not a sport or a hobby - it's a life skill."

As part of the exercises, children are taught the need for adult supervision around water and how they can save someone who is in trouble without endangering their own life.

They are taught the emergency numbers - triple zero from a landline and 112 on a mobile - and they are taught CPR.

Sandra said the safety exercises were also a timely reminder for parents to be vigilant when the children were in or near water.

"It only takes seconds for a child to drown and it is so quiet that you don't hear a thing," she said.

ALARMING STATISTICS

  • 291 people drowned in Australia between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013
  • 64 (22%) drowning deaths happened in Queensland
  • 31 (11%) drowning deaths in children aged zero to four
  • 9 (3%) drowning deaths in children aged five to 14
  • 26 (9%) drowning deaths in people aged 15 to 24

Topics:  swimming



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