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Free Whanau/Nui Swim Lessons Keep Toddlers Afloat

1 December 2005

Free ‘Whanau/Nui’ Swim Lessons’ Keep Toddlers Afloat

Injury Free Counties Manukau is running a free programme ‘Whanau/Niu’ Swim lessons’ in January 2006. The programme teaches toddlers and their caregivers the life skill of swimming and was piloted in Mangere in June.

From 23rd to 27th January, families will learn the fun and dangers associated with aquatic activities by completing 5 free swimming lessons, where both the children and caregivers learn important survival and swimming skills.

Lauren van Coller, Injury Prevention Coordinator says,”Drowning is New Zealand’s third highest cause of accidental death. A report, released in May 2005 by the Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee and Water Safety New Zealand, reported 1- 4 year olds having the highest rate of drowning, 6.9%, per age group.

“Lack of supervision is the major reason for such a high toll; an increase in the number of outlets selling plastic portable pools is another concern as most pre-school drownings happen in home swimming pools which have direct access from the house.

“Whanau/Niu’ Swim lessons will teach youngsters to enjoy the water but be more equipped for the dangers. One mother was surprised during the pilot programme that her youngster was practising breathing during one of the activities. This is just one of the strategies the programme uses to teach toddlers’ confidence around water. It is a very worthwhile course, it’s free and numbers are limited.”

The free lessons have been made possible by Injury Free Counties Manukau in partnership with Swimsation, Manukau City Council Leisure Services, WaterSafe Auckland and funded by the Water Safety Education Foundation

Injury Free Counties Manukau aims to reduce the number of non-intentional injuries in the Counties Manukau area, with a specific focus on Maori and Pacific Island communities.

Families are invited to enrol at Manurewa Aquatic Centre – Nga Mahi a Rehia, Manurewa; Moana Nui a Kiwa Leisure Centre, Mangere; Norman Kirk Memorial Pool, Otara; Massey Park Aquatic Centre Papakura; and Franklin Sport, Swim and Fitness in Pukekohe.

Register today with Lauren van Coller, General Co-ordinator, 262 8964 or Sopo Elia, Pacific Co-ordinator, 262 8900 ext 8731, or enrol online at www.swimsation.com.


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