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SwimSAFER week to combat drowning deaths

SwimSAFER week to combat drowning deaths
November 26, 2013

A new initiative aimed at stopping the growing number of drowning deaths in Australia was launched on Monday (25th November).

Drowning deaths in children under the age of five increased 48% last year, while the number of overall fatalities rose 5% to 291.

To combat this rising trend, EnergyAustralia and Swim Australia have teamed up to launch

EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER Week (running from 25th November to 1st December), to educate Australians about what they can do to prevent drowning.

Swim Australia Chief Executive Ross Gage, says the initiative focuses on swimming lessons and what to do in an emergency.

Gage explains "swimming lessons are only one way to help kids stay safer in and around the water. The EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER program also recommends constant adult supervision, complying pool fences and gates, as well as having an Emergency Action Plan in place.

"Families should always have a first aid kit on hand, know emergency numbers, understand how to administer CPR, and if a child is missing, always check water hazards first because seconds count!"

More than 300 swim schools across Australia will participate in EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER Week, with children and their families learning water skills and the elements of an Emergency Action Plan including CPR.

EnergyAustralia Executive Manager of Retail Adrian Merrick, says all Australians should take water safety seriously, statting "we want to make sure Australians are armed with the knowledge they need to be safer around water this summer.

"We encourage all Australians to test their water safety knowledge at waterhero.com.au during SwimSAFER week to ensure they know what to do to keep their families safer around water."

EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER week is an extension of the EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER program which provides swim schools across Australia with resources to teach water safety and emergency planning.

The campaign is also introducing a new type of superheroes, 'WaterHERO' who emphasises the following safety messages to stay safe in and around water.

Be Aware: Don't let the kids out of your sight.

Be Secure: Keep fences and gates locked up tight.

Be Confident: Learn to Swim, and how to get to safety.

Be Prepared: Always have a plan in case of emergency.

Australians can get involved by enrolling their child in an EnergyAustralia SwimSAFER Week participating swim school and can test their water safety knowledge at www.waterhero.com.au 

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