80,000 Scottish kids learn vital water safety skills

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Learn to Swim marks Drowning Prevention Week 2024

OVER 80,000 CHILDREN across Scotland are receiving water safety lessons to mark Drowning Prevention Week this year.

The Learn to Swim National Framework, a partnership between Scottish Swimming and Scottish Water, is driving a major push to teach kids across the country.

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This comes as figures from the National Water Safety Forum reveal a tragic 47 drowning fatalities in Scottish waters in 2023.

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The Learn to Swim National Framework is delivered by 39 leisure trusts and aquatic providers at over 165 pools from Shetland to the Borders with the vision of creating "Generation Swim", a generation of children who are confident, safer and competent swimmers, who will also get to experience the wider health and social benefits that swimming can offer.

Drowning prevention is one of the main objectives for the Learn to Swim National Framework and in June each year the Learn to Swim programme does a major water safety push to coincide with Drowning Prevention Week, where all youngsters take part in a Learn to Swim water safety swim lesson delivered by the leisure trusts and aquatic providers.

"With Scotland's abundance of coastlines, lochs, rivers and reservoirs, it's absolutely vital that children learn water safety," said Euan Lowe, CEO of Scottish Swimming.

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"As summer approaches, many kids will be eager to swim, so we're on a mission to provide the skills for them to do so safely and confidently."

“The lessons delivered during Drowning Prevention Week will be specifically tailored to integrate crucial water safety skills, from the implementation of the Water Safety Code to basic floating techniques which can make a massive difference when someone feels in danger in the water.”

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer said, "We cannot over-emphasise the importance of water safety all year round, but it’s particularly relevant as we approach summer when people are often more likely to be around water.

“These water safety lessons provide a opportunity to equip children with the vital knowledge and skills to help them feel safe in, on and around water, and help their parents and family network feel confident and comfortable in their swimming abilities."

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The Learn to Swim National Framework is committed to creating inclusive, supportive, and quality environments in which individuals can learn to swim regardless of their age, ability or skill level.

Drowning Prevention Week, organised by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), stands as one of the largest water safety campaigns in the UK and Ireland.

For more information on Learn to Swim can be found on its website: https://learntoswim.scot/

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