Focus on water safety for young swimmers

March 10th, 2015 12:55 PM

By Southern Star Team

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Cork County Council is putting a big emphasis on water safety this year and the focus is on educating young swimmers.

Part of its inititaive was the recent launch of the Water Safety Awareness campaign and awards scheme. The award is a flag which can be flown inside or outside the school. On completion of the Land Primary Aquatics Water Safety Programme, any school is eligible to apply for the award.

‘This is a great badge of honour for the school and it gives the children the opportunity to participate in the Land PAWS syllabus and learn valuable safety information and techniques,’ said Caroline Casey, Water and Road Safety Development Officer with Cork County Council.

‘The items covered are very practical and useful in everyday events,’ Caroline added. ‘To see the levels for yourself have a look at the education section of the Irish Water Safety Website ( Safety in the home, farm, pool, rivers, lakes and beaches are all covered.’

The Land PAWS syllabus is available to download from the Irish Water Safety Website. The ideal scenario is that the class teacher would cover the content of the programme once a week over a six-week period. On completion, certificates will be issued from Irish Water Safety and the flag will be awarded on behalf of Cork County Council. The certs can be applied for online via Farm, Road, Water & Safety in the home are included.

With your flag, you will also receive some card and board games based on water safety, designed by Cork County Council. Each session facilitated by Caroline is a mix of storytelling, board games, action activities and interactive learning. There is no cost involved for the school. ‘Our goal is that all children get the opportunity to have water safety education in primary school and that each school who participates will be recognised officially for supporting this initiative. Already, 26 schools are flying the flag and many more have registered to participate,’ said Caroline. ‘Please get involved and help us reduce the number of tragic drownings each year.’ Email [email protected] to get involved. The project will feature on Nationwide on RTE 1 on Wednesday, March 11th, at 7pm.

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