Giving toddlers the tools for water safety

Maddyson and Cody are two of the children at Journey Early Learning Ocean Grove to participate in a popular water-safety program. (picture supplied)

When you live in a coastal community, it’s important that young people are familiar with water safety.

It’s never too early to start educating young people on being safe in and around water and that’s why Journey Early Learning Ocean Grove has introduced a popular water-safety program that is providing valuable tools for toddlers up to kinder age.

Not only is Journey Early Learning teaching the children about beach safety, it is reinforcing the importance of home and farm water safety as well.

“A majority of our families spend their weekends at the beach surfing, swimming and enjoying recreational water sports,” centre manager Donna Walker said.

“The beach is only 4.5 kilometres away from our service, our parents love it – we’ve had a fantastic response.”

The sessions run on Monday and Wednesday during term one and term four to coincide with the warmer months.

Term one is dedicated to Introducing children to living with water and beach safety with books and follow-up activities, along with excursions to the local surf life saving club in Ocean Grove Beach.

The aim is to educate children through group discussions, arts and crafts, games and more.

“They (the children) are really curious, the things we are showing them they are familiar with already,” Miss Walker said.

But it’s not just the beach that the children are being taught to be water aware.

“We have several families with pools at home and they can already identify they need to close the gate,” Miss Walker said.

It’s also about being sun smart, staying close to adults, waving and signalling to somebody if you need help and some of our families have water tanks on farms.

“We also teach sandpit play and building safe swimming areas. It’s learning through play.”

The sessions are run by qualified swim teacher Laura Beekman.

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