A new study has found that 1 in 3 Australian parents with children under 5 are not taking them to swimming lessons, even though nearly a quarter said they, or a family member, had experienced a near drowning event.
The study, commissioned by Poolwerx in the lead-up to national Learn2Swim Week, found that of the parents who did not take their pre-schoolers to swimming lessons 42% found it too expensive and 25% believed their child was too young, even though infants aged 4 to 6 months are able to attend formal swimming lessons.
Whilst over 60% of the parents surveyed agreed that teaching children under five to swim was a crucial step in drowning prevention, the survey revealed that 28% of parents who pay for extra-curricular activities prioritise other activities over swimming lessons.
Sadly, this leaves children vulnerable to drowning having not learnt the vital skills necessary to get out of trouble in the water. Those under five are four times more likely to drown than other children and 81% of those deaths result from unexpectedly falling into water.
During Learn2Swim Week (23rd September to 2nd October), hundreds of swim schools around the country are offering free swimming lessons to children under 5 to teach children the lifesaving skills they need should they get into trouble in the water.