Swim and Survive - Water Confidence For Our Kids

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will provide financial support to encourage the participation of children aged between one and five in water confidence and aquatic safety programs.

The Problem

We all want our children to be safe at our beaches but sadly during recent years, there continue to be a number of swimming tragedies.

The Education Department funds swimming and surf education lessons through VACSWIM but children aren’t able to access these lessons until the age of five.

School principals have told us the amount of school time devoted to swimming lessons is not enough to produce competent swimmers.

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children up to the age of 14.

With South Australia’s countless beaches and waterways, it is vital as much as possible is done to provide young children and their families with water safety education.

The State Liberal's Plan

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will provide financial support to encourage the participation of children aged between one and five in water confidence and aquatic safety programs.

Surf Life Saving South Australia has successfully piloted two such programs – Surf Babies and Little Lifesavers.

Surf Babies is for one and two year olds, while Little Life Savers is for three to five year olds.

The programs aim to build the confidence of adults in taking young children to the beach through instruction about hazards, responding to a beach-based emergency and supervising children in the open water.

The programs offer advice and instruction in four
key areas:

Education: sun safety and water education

Water: fundamental water skills

Beach: co-ordination and movement skills

First Aid: CPR and basic frst aid knowledge

The programs were piloted last year at the Semaphore, Henley, Seacliff, Christies Beach and Port Noarlunga Surf Life Saving Clubs.

There are 21 surf life-saving clubs across South Australia. A Marshall Liberal Government will work with Surf Life Saving SA to encourage greater participation in these successful programs.

The cost of participation in the six weeks program is $90 per child and parent couple.

The reality is that for many families, water safety education is not accessible due to cost.

A Marshall Liberal Government will provide families with a $50 subsidy to encourage their participation.

It is estimated this would see thousands of children and their families take part in beach safety education before school enrolment