Pool safety saves lives

Mayor Jay Suvaal with his children Ethan and Caleb.JPG

Cessnock City Council has launched its annual Be Pool Safe campaign which will promote the importance of swimming lessons, backyard pool safety, and supervision this summer.

The fearful fact that kids can drown without a sound will be echoed during the campaign, and that swimming lessons can make all the difference.

The 2022 Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report highlighted the temporary closure of swim schools during the COVID-19 pandemic would likely impact Australians for years to come. This is due to kids missing long periods of swimming and water safety education, and many not returning to their lessons.

The report also noted that 339 people drowned in Australian Waterways between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, with an estimated additional 686 involved in non-fatal drowning incidents. This is a 15% increase compared to the previous year, and a 24% increase compared to the 10-year average.

Cessnock City Council Mayor said with summer fast approaching, it was more important than ever to get your kids into swimming lessons, and educate them about pool safety.

"The NSW Government's First Lap vouchers are still available, which provide families with a $100 voucher towards swimming lessons for children aged 3-6 years," Mayor Suvaal said.

"I have two young kids who love the water and I'll be looking to get them into lessons in the lead up to summer. I encourage other parents to do the same."

Cessnock City Council is also issuing free family passes to Kurri Kurri Aquatic and Fitness Centre, and Cessnock and Branxton pools to kids who complete the NSW Department of Education Intensive Learn to Swim program.

Residents can find out more about First Lap vouchers and local participating providers by visiting www.service.nsw.gov.au/first-lap-swim-voucher.

Cessnock City Council has a range of information regarding pool safety and fencing on its website at www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/BePoolSafe.

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