WATERPROOF YOUR BABIES
...it's that time of year again
Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.
Last year in Australia 31 children aged five and under drowned. That’s bloody awful and it represents a 50 per cent increase on the previous survey. Government “solutions” such as enforced pool fencing have, predictably, only made the horrific statistic worse.
A toddler’s fascination with water will never wane, gates regularly fail to shut properly, you can’t force the neighbours to be responsible and there’s water everywhere anyway.
Pool fencing has given parents a dangerously false feeling of security, there is always someone who will leave the gate open and there’s always a chair handy to reach the “child-proof” knob.
When a child who can’t swim falls in the water he/she automatically reaches skyward ensuring he/she will sink and any cry for help will go unheard. It’s a very silent death, but it can be avoided.
My concern has only ever been for the neighbours’ kids because all of my 11 kids have always been able to swim. They learnt to swim well before they could crawl. Actually they didn’t need to learn a bloody thing, they already knew how to swim before they were born.
You see, they had been under water holding their breath practically their entire life.
Waiting until a baby becomes a toddler before it is taught to swim is crazy because by then it has unlearnt the art of swimming. It has become accustomed to its new world of breathing out of water and it needs to re-learn what it once considered natural.
Babies are remarkable creatures and not as fragile as we think. Their bones are like flexible plastic, they are resistant to cold water, they can drink on their back, they can grip your finger with incredible strength requiring astonishing muscle coordination (a throwback to tree-dwelling antecedents who needed a strong grip on their mothers when escaping predators).
Jump in the pool with a new-born baby, it will surprise you, chasing bubbles with its eyes open, thoroughly enjoying its home turf. Even at 18 months it doesn’t need to learn butterfly or freestyle, it only needs to reach the side, from there it can reach the steps or call for help, it won’t drown.
If you need to take a child to Laurie Lawrence to learn to swim, you’re too late, you’ve left it too long, the danger period has already passed.