WITH the temperature soaring and the idea of taking a dip in a pool, river or a trip to the beach getting more enticing, water safety is set to become a crucial issue.
The ability for anyone to adequately handle themselves around water is highly important, but assuring children have the proper capabilities is particularly vital.
This is the reason behind Muswellbrook High School (MHS) taking part in the Learn to Swim program, which saw many students attend Muswellbrook Aquatic & Fitness Centre throughout the week to make sure they’re educated and don’t panic in dangerous situations.
MHS’s coordinator for the initiative, Leanne Duck, said the skills they learn are invaluable and should be taken seriously, despite the area being inland of the coast.
“The Learn to Swim program isn’t just about oceans,” she explained.
“Unfortunately, we lose children all the time in rivers and dams because they don’t understand the dangers associated with swimming in them.
“Inland waterways can be just as deadly for our children, too.”
The pupils are also taught about the importance of protecting themselves from the sun and given lessons on how to perform CPR.
Despite being several decades old, the program’s numbers have dropped in recent years, which is extremely disappointing from Ms Duck’s perspective.
“Unfortunately, some of the parents and the students themselves don’t see the value in it,” he said.
“About 200 rocked up yesterday and another 200 today which is great, but it should’ve been closer to 400 [per day].”
However, the pupils who did attend were clearly enjoying themselves and relishing the opportunity to learn in a different way.
“They find it interesting and it’s fun at the same time,” Ms Duck said.
“And, that’s the aim of it all, to learn while having fun.”
The lessons taught at Learn to Swim have undoubtedly saved many lives across the years, and is certainly a crucial cornerstone in young people’s ability to feel safe in the water.