Yup, today is Blog Action Day 2010. And I was going to talk about it being a precious commodity - which it is, and no one should take it for granted. But it's hard to think like that since Canberra has been inundated by rain this past week and today was the worst! It's brought out the slugs - and I HATE SLUGS! Just thinking about them makes my skin crawl, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to sleep tonight for fear that they could be sliming across my window pane. I hate them more than spiders or cockroaches. Seriously, the freak me out.
ANYWAY, because of this, I'm going to talk about being safe around the water. Whenever I find out someone I know can't swim, I never know what to say. It's such an important life skill. Even if you can't swim marathons, it's so important to know how to keep yourself alive if you're ever in an aquatic snafu.
At work, it was Water Safety Week this week, so it coincides with the Water topic quite well. The children learnt how to do safety jumps, and keep themselves afloat, as well as endurance swimming. For the little ones, we teach them to turn to the nearest edge should they fall in.
I'm not sure what the statistics are, but the Austswim organisation once advertised for volunteers to teach swimming in third world countries. We talk about the safety of drinking water, and the availability of water in general. These are important. But what about those children who never learned to swim. Every year all around the world, there are kids who are permanently, seriously or fatally injured because they never learned how to swim.
It is such an important part of a child's physical education, and more parents should make it part of their child's life. What would be even greater is if more Governments - local, state, national and international - could subsidise parents for giving their children the opportunity to save their own lives. The two weeks that ACT schools have for swimming lessons per year is not enough. If you only devoted half an hour a day for ten days a year to something, how well do you think you'd know it?
And lastly, the earlier a child learns how to move in water, the more capable they are at reaching the edge of a pool on their own if they fall in, and the less likely they are to panic when all they have to do is swim a few metres and they'll be in their own depth. Having said this, it is also never too late to learn either.
Lastly (really this time), swimming is fun! So it's a life skill that is also an enjoyable vocation :)