Spring into summer with winter swimming

| August 5, 2015

More young lives are still lost each year to drowning than any other accidental tragedy. Jasmin Forsyth from Swim Australia says this is why it’s important to keep up water skills, no matter the time of year.

Don’t put your kids’ swimming skills on ice this winter. The heavy doonas are out, our winter woolies are on… but that doesn’t mean you need to pop the togs away!

That’s right, winter swimming actually exists, and it’s on offer all over Australia. Better still, the pools are often indoors – especially in the southern states – and heated up to a balmy 32 degrees.

There are even some huge benefits to letting the kids splash around in their swimmers, even on the coldest of days!

Usually winter swimming sessions are quieter than the warmer months. Why? Sickness, the commencement of other hobbies, expense, it’s just too darn cold… It’s a trend we hope in time will diminish, as statistics still show that more young lives are lost each year to drowning than any other accidental tragedy.

However, for those passionate parents keen to keep the kids kicking during this chilly, slightly ‘off’ period, we have some great news:

  1. Not only will ongoing lessons help your child be safer in and around water through your persistence, in turn strengthening their swimming skills, ability and confidence, but
  2. every swimming lesson dollar you spend has even greater value!

Why? In some places, due to the cooler-season-attendance-drop-off attending kids may be offered more personalised, one-on-one time with their teacher (now, who would pass up this opportunity?). As a result, children may progress more quickly in skills and confidence, due to the increased teacher attention. Also, winter swimming kids will most likely maintain their touch of the water and ability to remember and apply such life saving skills, hugely preparing them once the warmer months roll around and greater aquatic play is at large.

And who wouldn’t want to launch more confidently into spring and summer’s pool parties and beach plays, simply by keeping up the swimming lessons during winter?

Now if your local swimming school pool is not indoors, you might find swimming beneath the warm winter sun and blue skies another appealing option. It really comes down to personal preference, but outdoor pools are still heated to around 32 degrees, and the big benefit here is the air is super fresh!

Children who don’t swim during winter – or over a considerable period of time – often unknowingly lose some swimming skills, water confidence and respect for aquatic environments; a realisation only discovered once water is reintroduced. Kids who are not swim savvy, could pose as a drowning risk to themselves. While some children regress quite significantly, others still bare the confidence, but scare themselves in the process by forgetting what to do once in the pool!

Sadly, in winter last year, 18% or 49 people drowned. Furthermore, drowning in Australian children aged zero to four, is still the number one cause of such accidental deaths. At Swim Australia we insist these stats can be reduced through better swim education and year round swimming lessons.

To stop a repeat of these alarming statistics and to ensure your kids stay SAFER, SMARTER, and STRONGER swimmers, it is important to keep up water skills, no matter the time of year; because drowning doesn’t discriminate. And if drowning doesn’t take a break – even during winter – why would you?