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When it comes to water safety and the importance of swimming lessons in the early years, you really only have to listen to one person: champion swim coach Laurie Lawrence. 

In a recent article, Mr Lawrence said, “The report from Royal Lifesaving showed we lost 29 kids under four – that’s just crazy stuff,”. The water safety campaigner was appalled by the number of children under five years old who had lost their lives and urged extended families to help time-poor parents.

Mr Lawrence suggests in the article from the Gold Coast Bulletin, that perhaps Grandparents can take up the slack!

“Grandparents have to become more involved. They can even pay for lessons, you can’t take it (your money) with you. And I tell you what, it’s the best half-hour you’ll spend with your grandkids. It’s just you, them and the water. No screens or distractions.”

“Grandparents have to become more involved. They can even pay for lessons, you can’t take it (your money) with you. And I tell you what, it’s the best half-hour you’ll spend with your grandkids. It’s just you, them and the water. No screens or distractions.”

Mr Lawrence, who still runs swim schools at Banora Point and Logan, said his schools were taking part in a Learn2Swim Week initiative offering free swimming lessons over the school holidays.

“The most important things with infant aquatics is that it can save a life and it’s healthy. Studies have shown kids who have lessons early have better social, mental and physical abilities – it's a no brainer."

The article goes on to suggest that a Surf Life Saving Queensland report feared more children would be at risk of drowning unless the government stepped in to improve swimming skills.
Queenslands peak surf life saving body indicated they had found an increased rate of low to poor swimming ability among school students.

“If you take the kids in for a week of lessons the difference is astronomical. While you’re there it’s like watching grass grow. But if you get them in the water every day they’ll bloom like a flower.”

This is also a win-win for grandparents wanting to get out more, continue a regular weekly exercise and enjoy that one-on-one time with the grandkids.

For younger children who might be still toilet training, there can sometimes be other challenges to "getting in the deep end". The Conni Kids Containment Swim shorts can help, by providing that extra reassurance parents and swim schools sometimes need to get your child into a public pool. Disposables can not only expensive but also damaging to the environment. Our swim short is reusable and cost-effective and look great too!

Original article Written by Nick Ellroy for the Gold Coast Bulletin