Lifeguards can’t do it alone

Parents must always be at arms’ length from their children if youngsters are aged under five and in water, including around toddler pools within public aquatic centres.

Hume has today called on parents to be vigilant, with more and more families visiting Council’s pools as the weather warms up.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said he didn’t want anybody to drown or suffer any type of drowning-related injury.

“This is perhaps the most important message I will ever deliver as the mayor of this great municipality: stay focused on your children around water,” Cr Atmaca said.

“Hume operates three aquatic centres and lifeguards patrol our pools, but we need parents to closely oversee their children in the water.

“While lifeguards save lives, they cannot possibly supervise every child in a pool at all times, and parents must be on the watch.

“When children are around water, parents really have to put away the iPad and iPhone, and focus on iSafety.

“Children under five are not able to detect danger, and even youngsters who have learnt to swim can forget how to stay afloat if they reach the middle of a pool and tire.

“Parents of children under five must be close enough to respond the moment their son or daughter gets into trouble around water.

“And parents of a child under 10 should keep their son or daughter within sight at a pool, regardless of their youngster’s aquatic experience.

“While some children may have completed swimming lessons, they may not be able to apply their strokes if other kids are jumping in and out of the water.

“Our kids are vulnerable in pools, and there is never a time to divert your attention.”

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under five.

Hume City Council runs swimming classes for people of all ages, and the lessons are based on Life Saving Victoria’s Swim and Survive program.

Aquatic centres in Hume also offer five-day swimming courses in school holidays, so that young people can improve their strokes and learn how to survive in an emergency.

In June and July, a total of 60 Hume residents aged over 60 completed the Grey Medallion course, a six-week program that was funded by Hume City Council.

Cr Atmaca called on everyone to consider whether swimming lessons could assist them, or members of their family.

“Australia can be a very dry place, but our country is also surrounded by water,” he said.

“Many of us will spend time at the beach, or perhaps camp along one of Victoria’s rivers.

“It is never too late to take up swimming lessons, and the skills you learn could not only save your life, but the life of someone else.

“Stay safe around water, and always remember to watch your children very closely when they are anywhere near a pool.”

Hume’s aquatic and leisure centres are located at:

• 41-85 Tanderrum Way, Broadmeadows;
• 127-147 Craigieburn Road, Craigieburn; and
• 20 Ligar Street, Sunbury.

Hume City Council supports the Watch Around Water campaign.

For further information about swimming in Hume, visit here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 13 October 2015

Updated : 7:05 PM, 13 October 2015

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