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Turn, Reach & Grab Safety

KASS lessons provide students with safe, effective opportunities to learn about being in the water and how to respond appropriately to the demands placed on them by that environment.

One of the many vital survival skills we teach children in the KASS Survival and Learn to Swim Program is to turn, reach and grab safety.

At KASS lessons, the training environment is the pool, and therefore safety is the pool edge. This helps to show the child that the wall is secure and safe.

At KASS we discuss goals with the parent and how we intend to realise those goals based on what we observe their child doing in the water each lesson. We teach children the turn, reach and grab safety survival skill by placing the child in different positions in the pool and prompt the child to turn to the wall, which we refer to as wall turns.

Initially the child is placed on different angles to the wall with one of the child’s hands on the wall and his face above the water. The child is placed not facing directly at the wall. They are placed in the water at a slight angle and they have to work on turning and grabbing onto the wall. Every time the child grabs the wall they are to hold with two hands this encourages them to use two hands to hold the wall no matter how they grab onto the wall.

As the child masters one skill we then increase the difficultly in small increments. This would involve a greater distance from the wall so the child’s hand does not touch it and our proximity to the child, so the child begins to problem solve and use the learned aquatic survival skills to reach the wall and grab the edge. We then increase the difficulty again and progress to a sit-in whereby the child in placed into the water from a sitting position out of the water on the pool edge.

The child is always encouraged to turn to the wall/pool edge, NOT the instructor.

We want children to identify the pool edge as safety, because the instructor or parent won’t be in the water with them in an aquatic emergency such as should they accidentally fall into water unnoticed, which is how nearly 80% of toddlers in Australia drown.

Call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to learn more about the KASS Survival and Learn to Swim Program

Watch a video explaining the survival technique “turn, reach and grab” here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aquatic Behaviour

Water safety is an attitude that is built up through repeated experiences. Therefore, BEHAVIOUR in and around water is very IMPORTANT.

The commonly referred terms include head first entries, jumping entries both of which encourage the child to jump and submerge into water whilst the instructor or parent rescues them.

The association of “1,2,3 jump” and I will catch you, is creating a DANGEROUS behaviour for children in and around water. Furthermore, teaching children to associate nursery rhymes and songs such as “humpty dumpty” whilst they fall into the water and rescued by their parents is giving children a false sense of security, because what happens when the parent is not there to catch them?

Children are inherently curious and inquisitive. They don’t perceive danger or have the knowledge to assess an environment to be safe or unsafe. As parents/carers, educators and as a community it is our job to protect them. That doesn’t mean we should remove all possible dangers, because that isn’t reality. We need to equip our children with the skills and knowledge to respond appropriately to dangerous situations and environments. Although certain explorative behaviours are normal, parents and caregivers must provide adequate supervision at all times.

In Australia, 100% of toddler drownings occur when the child is not being supervised and nearly 80% of drownings in young children occur due to FALLS INTO WATER. Yes, we need to be introducing children to safe entry practices, but most importantly the child needs to be skilled to SURVIVE in the water BEFORE they are taught to enter independently.

That’s why at Kids Aquatic Survival School we don’t encourage children to jump into water until fully skilled.

 

Royal Life Saving Drowning Report 2017

The Royal Life Saving Drowning Report for 2016/17 serves as a sobering reminder the barriers advocated by the industry to protect our children in and around water are failing.

  • 32% increase in the drowning deaths in children aged 0-4 years
  • 45% of children aged 0-4 years drowned in a backyard swimming pool and is the leading location of drowning deaths in children aged 0 – 4 years.
  • 76% of children who drown do so due to falls into water.

“There were between 600 and 700 hospitalisations due to ‘non-fatal drownings’ each year in Australia and children under five made up almost half of those.”

~Royal Lifesaving Australia national manager for research and policy Amy Peden~

  • The latest research by Royal Life Saving – Australia states between 1 July 2002 and 30 June 2015 there were 6,158 cases of non-fatal drowning in Australia that resulted in hospitalisation. As such, when a victim survives a drowning incident, they rarely walk away unharmed.tragically, many of them suffer irreversible brain damage. It is likely to severely impact the rest of their life, and the lives of their loved ones. Often referred to as the forgotten or invisible victims as it is usually the drowning victims who are mostly covered in the media.
    * There are an average of 474 non-fatal drowning incidents each year.
    * Non-fatal incidents have increased by 42% in 13 years.
    * Young children aged 0-4 years accounted for 42% of all non-fatal drowning incidents.
    * Non-fatal drowning incidents in children aged 0-4 years is between 5 and 14 times higher than any other age group.
    * Swimming pools are the leading location for non-fatal drowning, accounting for 36% of incidents.
    * Children under the age of five years account for 78% of non-fatal drowning

“We want them to understand that drowning isn’t just about children dying or having miraculous survival stories – there’s a whole group of children who experience non-fatal drownings and are left with a whole range of devastating injuries”

~ Michael Morris – Samuel Morris Foundation ~

We need a hands on approach to water safety. Teaching a person to float, breathe and wait for help is a life saving skill which can be translated across all ages and aquatic environments.

People don’t drown due to a lack of swimming ability. They drown because they are unable to hold and maintain an effective body posture for breathing.

At Kids Aquatic Survival School, we are addressing the drowning epidemic by teaching infants and young children aquatic survival skills.

Such as, how to:
– roll from a front to a back float
– maintain an independent back float and breathing posture
– reach, grab and turn to safety
– combine swimming and floating to breathe and break up large distances to reach safety or the edge.

But most importantly once the child has completed the KASS Survival program and is fully skilled, the child simulates an accidental fall into water. This allows the child to apply their newly learnt skills in a safe and controlled environment wearing full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes. We do this as the RLSS National Drowning report notes 76% of children who drown, do so due to falls into water. It usually occurs when they are fully clothed and have wandered to water unnoticed. It is a crucial skill for the child to learn, so should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill.

#Teachthemyoung
#Floattobreathe

If you would like to read the whole report Click Here

 

 

What are the most suitable swim lessons for my child?

The decision on the type of swim lessons for a child is a personal decision many new and existing parents struggle with and admit to facing hurdles such as location and cost which often override lesson effectiveness or suitability.

Children as young as 6 months, are encouraged to participate in what the industry classifies as “water familiarisation”. These lessons are generally conducted in a group setting with the parents in the water with their child. This is said to create bonding time for parent and baby and provide social interaction with other babies leading to a positive experience for the child’s association with water.

In many cases, the decision to conduct group lessons is based on:
  1. Financial viability as one instructor for 10 babies for 30 minutes is much more cost effective than one on one.
  2. The safety issue of personal liability is transferred to the parent who is the primary carer in the water.

Unfortunately, many of these water familiarisation classes do not equip the child with any aquatic survival skills. At the very core being to roll over and float to breathe.

Often young children enter into an aquatic experience without any understanding of their abilities or limitations, be it a river, ocean, swimming pool or fishpond. It is vitally important that we provide children with the opportunity to undertake progressive aquatic skill development that considers the experiences and activities that they may be exposed to in the future.

The reality is barriers such as supervision and restricting access to water break down. When children fall into a body of water they usually do so fully clothed when they have wandered there unnoticed with no parents around.

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SWIMMING, IT’S ABOUT SURVIVAL

In the Survival Program at Kids Aquatic Survival School our main focus is learning to survive, not just swimming. It is now widely accepted that the ability to swim is not enough to save a life. As a nation surrounded by water, learning practical water survival skills at an early age is essential.

That is why at Kids Aquatic Survival School, once the child has completed the Survival program and is fully skilled; the child applies their newly learnt skills in a safe and controlled environment wearing full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes. So should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill.

Kids Aquatic Survival School want children to respect the water: not to fear it, but to understand that they have limitations. Acquiring aquatic survival skills is fundamental in the attempt to eliminate drowning.

For more information call 1800 543 779 or visit www.infantswim.com.au

Competence before Confidence

“Many Australian children enter into an aquatic experience without any understanding of their personal capabilities or limitations….It is vitally important we provide children with the opportunity to undertake progressive aquatic skill development that considers the experiences and activities that they may be exposed to in the future and provide them with a core set of skills that can be utilised in times of need.” Royal Life Saving NSW

That is why at KASS, once the child has completed the Survival program and is fully skilled, they perform their newly learnt skills in full winter clothing including shoes and nappy. This is a vital step because it is a very different sensory experience swimming or floating in clothes.

To ensure the child has an understanding of what it feels like to perform the skills in clothes, we simulate this in a safe and controlled environment so should they ever fall into water fully clothed, it won’t be the first time they have performed this skill.

Call 1800 543 779 or email info@infantswim.com.au to book your child into our accelerated survival program to increase their water safety.

#survivalbeforestroke #kidsaquaticsurvivalschool #watersafety#survivalswim

Image source; Daily Telegraph

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