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Life Matters

The following story is about an incident that happened with Radha, and how Radha’s swimming lessons have no doubt prevented a disaster.

Radha is 3.5 years old and has been going to swimming lessons at a local Swim School since she was a baby. I took kids and momthe kids for a swim at my friend’s house one day during the summer and they were playing around the steps, showing no intention of getting right in. The kids have always been a bit timid when swimming anytime other than during their lessons, and usually just wade in the shallow without going under. I briefly went outside the pool gate towards the house to get something, during which time the kids wandered to the deep end of the pool, which was out of my sight. Seisha (my 5 year old son) came back into view straight away and I stopped and waited for Radha to follow. When she didn’t follow I called out to her, and no sooner had I done that did I hear her crying and calling for Mummy. When I got to her, Radha was floating perfectly on her back with her feet pointing towards the edge of the pool and her head pointing towards the centre of the pool. I suspect she had crouched down to pick up a toy on the side of the pool then fallen in. Her tummy and face were perfectly out of the water and whilst she was continuing to float away from the edge she was not dipping under the water at all. I reached for her ankles and pulled her to me and out of the water.
She was shaken by the incident, but otherwise fine. When it happened I spoke to her calmly and did not panic or make a fuss, as I didn’t want it to leave her with a fear of the water. I continued to congratulate her on doing such a great job of floating, and that she was an excellent swimmer. After a while of cuddling and relaxing with Mummy, I encouraged her to get back in the pool before too long, as I didn’t want her to think that swimming was scary.
We all got in the pool together and had a lot of fun. It all happened in mere  moments with no audible splash, a frightening thing for any parent. I was so proud of Radha for using her swimming skills in her time of need, and I am so grateful to our local Swim School and all the teachers, for teaching her these life skills in such a fun and functional way.
We are so happy that this had a happy ending. Children reaching for objects (toys, etc.), is one of the most common ways that children fall into bodies of water. Remember not to leave any objects in the pool!


Safer, Smarter, Swimming

It's a life-long lesson, which experts say, is a smart one too. World first research has proven, regular and ongoing learn-to-swim lessons from a young age, can make your kids 'smarter'.

The four-year university study, was conducted by Griffith Institute for Educational Research, and supported by Swim Australia - the leading national authority on learn-to-swim and water safety.Kids fun

The study surveyed the parents of 7000 children aged five years and under, from Australia, New Zealand and the US. The study was reinforced by also testing individual children.

Researcher, Professor Robyn Jorgensen, said many results had exceeded expectations and showed swimming children had an advantage when starting school.

"Children who had learned how to swim from a young age, were anywhere from six to 15 months ahead of the normal population, when it came to cognitive skills, problem solving in mathematics, counting, language and following instructions." Professor Jorgensen said.

While researchers and industry experts expected swimming kids to show some physical advancement than their non-swimming friends, they were positively surprised by the overwhelming literacy and numeracy results as well.

"For a long time, we've understood the benefits of swimming - physical, emotionally, socially - but we are very excited to finally have these published for the world to see and benefit." Swim Australia CEO, Ross Gage said.

" We are delighted, the Australian Unity supported learn-to-swim programs provided in Swim Australia Registered Swim Schools around the country, are rich in skills and developmental activities, which could enhance the lives of children, in and out of the water.

"Without the support of our learn-to-swim partner, Australian Unity, funding such as wonderful story, wouldn't have been possible." Mr Gage added.

Professor Jorgensen concluded, "our research is categorical, evidence-based and shows, early years swimming has children well ahead in many of the skills and processes they will apply, once at school."

For more information visit www.swimaustralia.org.au

Sourced from the official newsletter of Swim Australia's newsletter for parents issue 22 Spring 2013