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					The official parents newsletter of Swim Australia                                    Issue 9 Summer 2006

Lessons helped
      save my                                              daughter's
Recently I took my 6 year old son and 4 year
old daughter to a group picnic on the foreshores
of Lake Burley-Griffin in Canberra. There
were a number of families in attendance, and
after lunch a casual cricket match started. My
daughter was with two other 4 year old girls
                                                           OVER ONE HUNDRED
at the edge of the playing area. I was chatting
when the two little girls who had been playing             CHILDREN DROWN
with my daughter came and stood politely beside
me then reported that my daughter had fallen in
the water.
                                                           IN AUSTRALIA
I instinctively looked towards the shallows closest        EVERY YEAR.
to where the girls had been but saw nothing and
asked where she was - they turned and pointed              Help prevent your child
to the pier, where the water is deep, reedy and
                                                           from becoming another
murky. I sprinted to the pier with the cricketers in
hot pursuit, and found my little girl in the water a       statistic by equipping
metre below land-level, crying out and clinging            them with the latest
to one of the pier stanchions. A Navy father
                                                           swimming and water
jumped into the water and brought her
to safety.                                                 survival skills.
It turned out that, unobserved by any of the
adults in attendance, the little girls had walked
to the pier, and my daughter overbalanced and
fell in. Happily, she had the presence of mind to
swim to the pier and hold on and call for help.
Luckily, she did not hit her head on the way
into the water. Both of my children have been
attending swimming lesson for some three years
- the lessons helped save my daughter's life.

Name withheld by request.

Editor’s note:
While this true story highlights the value of swimming
lessons, it also demonstrates the importance of
supervision – and how difficult it is to maintain it

I am working with Swim Australia in an endeavour to
raise awareness and educate the community about
childhood drowning. I am compiling real life stories
of families who have experienced the death or injury
of their child through (near) drowning. If you know of
anyone who has experienced this tragedy, who may
like to share their story in the hope of helping others,
please contact Siria Thomas via

email or
mobile 0403 788983
Pregnancy, Babies & Childrens EXPO
2007                                           Adelaide
                                   16th to 18th March

                             Royal Adelaide Showground

                                     11th to 13th May
                                    Sydney Showground         Juvenile Arthritis
                                                                   Swim for
                                          Olympic Park

                                        6th to 8th July
                                  Brisbane Convention &
                                        Exhibition Centre   Bayly was 13 months old when he stopped cruising and crawling.
                                             South Bank     Then, his left foot swelled up right before our eyes at his weekly
                                                            swimming lesson (he's been swimming since 6 months of
                                                  Perth     age). After numerous tests and a lengthy hospital stay, he was
                                  17th to 19th August       diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) - a condition
                                 Claremont Showground       thought to affect as many as 1 child per 250.
                                                            JIA is incurable, and in some forms can be fatal. It is also mighty
                                             Melbourne      hard to detect as there is no one specific test for it, and in fact
                                 19th to 21st October       requires a 'process of elimination'. JIA is treated by an aggressive
                             Melbourne Exhibition Centre    drug regime, and managed by a Health Team that includes
                                              Southbank     Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.

                                                            The old adage of "move it or lose it" applies. And the best form of
                                                            exercise is water-based. 3 year-old Bayly has hydrotherapy twice
                                                            a week at the hospital, and also continues his weekly swimming
                with your                                   lessons. The water supports the child's weight while providing
                                                            resistance to help build muscle tone, which can be lacking in
        Ice Age friends                                     children with JIA. Bone strength is also affected, through the
                                                            Arthritis or the drugs used to treat it (e.g. steroids can leech the
                          this Summer!                      calcium). The warmth and support of the water provides the ideal
                                                            environment to work the child well, but not exhaust them. Chronic
  I trust you gain a lot from Swimming MATTERS.             fatigue is also common in JIA.
  This issue has been made possible largely due
                                                            Most importantly, swimming is fun, so doesn't really feel like
  to a fine donation from the people at Twentieth
                                                            exercise to the child.
  Century Fox Home Entertainment.
                                                            We run the JIA support group online, and work very closely
  Their commitment to assisting children gain an            with the Arthritis Foundation of NSW, to provide support for
  enjoyable learn-to-swim experience goes even              families and raise awareness of a surprisingly common childhood
  further. They have given 300 swim schools                 condition (more common than Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, and
  around the country Ice Age 2 materials to                 Juvenile Diabetes).
  enhance the stimulation of the learners.
                                                            Our message is simple: KIDS GET ARTHRITIS TOO!
  Ice Age 2: The Meltdown available to own on
  DVD Nov 22nd, apart from being great family               Some signs and symptoms of JIA include:
  entertainment, has a significant segment that
                                                            • swelling, warmth, redness and/or tenderness in and around
  reinforces to children the value of learning to
                                                            • stiffness, which is particularly evident on waking in the
  Have a great summer and enjoy your                          mornings and after periods of inactivity.
  swimming.                                                 • limitations in the range of movement of joints.
                                                            • limping, due to sore or stiff knees, ankles or hips.
                                                              weak muscles.
  Ross Gage, Editor & CEO, Swim Australia                   • changes in the shape or growth of bones.
                                                            • damage to joints (caused by the erosion of bone and cartilage).
                                                            Other problems can include irritability, fatigue and poor
                                                            concentration, poor appetite or difficulty getting a good night's
                                                            sleep, rash, fever and visual problems.

                                                            PLEASE NOTE: It is an unpredictable disease and the child's
                                                            abilities can be affected in different ways from day to day.
                                                            That's why understanding is the best thing you can give the child!!

                                                            For more info, contact any Arthritis Foundation on
                                                            1800 011 041. Our support group is online at

                                                            Many thanks, Bayly's mum, Jo Turner
      Children learn                                                                 Hot water
    more than just burns
swimming lessons
MATHS - Ordinal number - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc; Shapes
                                                                                               like           fire
                                                                      Did you know that around 1,200 Australian children under
- circles, squares eg sit on a red square; Measurement of long        five years of age come to hospital emergency each year for
and short distance, depth; More and less numbers.                     the treatment of scalds? That's more than three children a day.
COLOUR - Pick up the red ring etc…                                    Scalds are caused by hot liquid, hot vapour or steam burns, and
                                                                      they can be just as bad as a fire burn. To dramatically lessen the
SAFETY - Of themselves and of others.
                                                                      chance of your child being burnt here’s a range of home safety
LANGUAGE – Vocabulary; Speech; and language structure.                tips from Queensland Health.
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION – Appetite; and                         Keeping safe in the Kitchen
Learning the body parts - tummy, legs, little finger etc.;            • Keep children out of the kitchen when cooking
Fitness and endurance; Children sleep better; More flexibility        • Keep hot drinks out of reach of children
- prevents injuries in other sports, play games; Strength, power,     • Use cordless kettles or keep cords out of reach
coordination.                                                         • Turn saucepan handles away from the stove front and rely
ANIMALS (painted on walls and floors, posters etc); Stand on,         primarily on the rear hot plates.
sit on, look at.
                                                                      Hot water tap safety
ORGANISATION – Circuits; Stand in line and taking turns.
SOCIAL SKILLS - Waiting for a turn; Cooperation;                      • Always test water temperature before bathing a child
Consideration; Playing, making friends, having fun;                   • Always run the cold water first and turn it off last
Communication, manners, learning when to listen and talk;             • Turn taps off tightly
When to be attentive; Following instructions; Learn to read body      • Control the temperature of your bathroom hot tap water to a
language; Immersed in greater world, cultures, languages,             maximum of 50°C, using either a hot water shutdown valve or
meanings etc...                                                       tempering valve.
By Susan Earle, Occupational Therapist

                 Great Finish                                         Get ready to go
                  If you love to swim but don’t like the smell or
                  feel of chlorine on your skin, hair and swimming
                  costumes, BaySwim products are a great new
                  way to gently remove chlorine odour and
                                                                      nuts                  as the #1 animated film of the year
                                                                       ICE AGE 2 THE MELTDOWN scurries its way to DVD
                                                                       (November 22), from Twentieth Century Fox Home
                    The BaySwim range is used and                      Entertainment.
                     recommended by parents, coaches and elite
                       swimmers including Libby Lenton. It is also     This thawsome new release brings back your favorite sub-zero
                        Australian owned and made and endorsed         heroes in their latest adventure along with a flood of special
                        by Swim Australia.                             features that are sure to provide hours of chilled-out enjoyment
                        The skin and hair products are great for       for the entire family. Leading off this mammoth-sized DVD is
                      anyone who uses chlorinated pools or spas        Scrat's all-new animated short "No
                     and include a fragrance free SwimSoap, a          Time for Nuts." Starring as himself,
                   SwimRinse for hair and a soap free SwimWash.
                                                                       Scrat embarks on a hilarious journey
                  There is also a TogWash which removes the
                  chlorine residue from those expensive swimming
                                                                       through time stopping off at notable
                  costumes, helping to preserve the quality of your    landmarks and important moments in
                  costumes for longer.                                 world history while in search of what
                  The BaySwim range is great for swimmers of all       else but...the infamous acorn!
                  ages and will be available for sale through swim
                                                                       The usual Scrat antics ensue however
                  centres this summer.
                                                                       the question remains - will he or will he
                  For further information or to find your nearest
                                                                       not finally land his prize".
                  stockist visit or call
                  1300 786 189.
  Kids Alive
                                      on the
             Road                                                                                         David Bree on Kids alive van.
Drowning still remains the biggest killer of preschool children by
accidental death in Australia.                                          up with a love of the environment we want them not only to have
                                                                        a love of water but be conscious of the dangers that exist in and
LATEST FIGURES SHOW 37 CHILDREN UNDER FIVE                              around water.”
                                                                        Parental supervision and teaching children to swim as babies is
The Kids Alive show is on the road again, to positively influence       a great insurance but even the most loving parents cannot watch
and educate young children on water safety.                             their children 24-7, that’s why the water safety message is about
                                                                        five layers of protection.
Led by a young wandering Irishman David Bree and with the help
of local and Federal Government funding a group of dedicated            To check on the show's where abouts visit the kids alive website
young people Lifesaver Lil, Nipper Nelly, Alien Boo and costume - have a safe summer!
character Wise Owl are travelling entertaining and educating
                                                                        Laurie Lawrence
thousands of young children all over Australia on the importance
of water safety.

Being a former teacher, I believe that by introducing children
to the water safety message early it makes them more
knowledgeable and water safe.

“I love this show not only is it great fun for me and the kids but it
is helping save young children’s lives and that is more important.”

Sarah McQueen who plays Lifesaver Lil says she wants children
to have a great theatrical experience and leave the show able to
recite the Kids Alive message.

Joshua Mitchell who plays by Wise Owl says “the show is a
hoot and the music written by Dave Avery who wrote George
Thoroughgood’s hit song “Get your Haircut and get a Real Job”
is rhythmical, fun, and really encourages the youngsters to get up
and dance with the characters.

“Our long term goal is zero preschool drowning. It’s a tall order
but that’s the vision. Just as young people of today are growing

Editor's Note: Swimming lessons are not a substitute for proper barriers and supervision.

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