According to the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report, 284 people drowned in Australian waterways between 1st July 2011 and 30th June 2012.
The report released at the end of September shows a reduction of 26 (8%) on the 2010/2011 drowning toll, and a reduction of 3 (1%) drowning deaths on the five year average of 287.
Although the report highlights the enormous amount of work still to be done by groups such as SwimSAFER, one pleasing aspect for swim schools is the reduction in drowning rates in the 0-4 year age group to 21 children. This is a reduction of seven deaths from the 2010/2011 year, and a reduction of 11 on the five year average of 32. Of note is after the previous historical low of 26 drowning’s in 2004/2005, this was immediately followed by a 10 year high of 47 in the 2005/2006 year.
Of concern in this age bracket is the 75% increase in the number of drowning deaths occurring in the bath tub or spa bath. This year saw the figure jump from four deaths in 2010/2011 to seven deaths this year.
Another area that has been highlighted by the SwimSAFER team is the number of boys who drown in their younger years. SwimSAFER strongly believe that this demographic is an area that swim schools must be highlighting to parents to be extremely vigilant with at all times.
2011/2012 saw an overall increase in inland waterway drowning. The highest number of drowning deaths occurred in inland waterways (104), accounting for 37% of the total number of drowning deaths. This statistic highlights that more drowning deaths occur in rivers and lakes than at the beach.
SwimSAFER encourages all swim schools to continue to educate not only the children under their care, but also to help educate the parents about the dangers that exist around ALL bodies of water.
To help with this your swim school can play its part by agreeing to become a SwimSAFER Week participating Swim School.
Our goal is to see over 284* swim schools across Australia become part of the Swim Australia SwimSAFER Week Swim School network. Benefits include:
- DL and A4 Parent Education handouts on a number of SwimSAFER topics
- Customer Service Tips for SwimSAFER Week for Managers / Receptionists
- Teaching Tips for SwimSAFER Week instructors
- SwimSAFER Week Signage for you to place around your centre
- SwimSAFER Poster Series to help educate parents on a year round basis
- Discounted Pull Up banners. Ideal for promotions etc
*284 is the number or people who drowned in Australia in the 2011/2012 year
If you are not a SwimSAFER Week participating Swim School then email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.