With winter marking a decline in under 5s attending swimming lessons, Kids Alive – Do the Five has launched a new collection of water safety songs and toddler books to keep the issue top of mind.
Marking the event with a free live concert , Kids Alive Managing Director, Emma Lawrence, said the timing of the launch coincided with the winter months when swimming lesson attendance drops by an average 20%.
“It’s important to keep water safety messaging top of mind for both kids and their parents right throughout the year and these new resources reinforce what kids learn at swimming lessons,” Emma said. “The concert is the biggest event we’ve ever hosted and it sold out in 3 weeks and we’re excited to share the new songs and toddler books with kids and their parents.”
Emma said it had been over 11 years since the first Kids Alive songs were created.
“We have been spreading water safety messages to families for over 20 years now and it was time to freshen things up and spread our message to a new beat. With the shift to listening online, we now have the opportunity to reach even more families. We released the first album onto Spotify a few years ago and we are excited to add to our music collection.”
Kids Alive Founder Laurie Lawrence encouraged parents to keep their kids in swimming lessons all year round.
“There is a misconception that kids have an increased chance of catching colds if they attend swimming lessons during winter,” Laurie said. “However, with pools heated through winter, it’s really no different to a child having a bath during winter and just getting them straight out of the water, changed and warmed up.”
Laurie said the launch of the songs would also correspond with the release of a new range of water safety books targeted to toddlers, with 55,000 books distributed to early education centres across the country.
“The toddler age is the most dangerous for drownings so we wanted some new books that they can engage with,” Laurie said. “The books have new cute ‘baby’ characters and are simple rhyming style perfect for little ones. As with all Kids Alive resources, the books and songs were assessed by water safety and early education experts.”
Supported through funding from the Department of Health and Aged Care, Federal Minister for Aged Care and Sport and mother of three Anika Wells, recognised the extremely important work Kids Alive – Do the Five had been undertaking for over twenty years.
“Their mission is simple – to reach as many under 5s throughout Australia with water safety messages and reduce the incidence of drowning in this age group to zero,” she said.
“It’s so important for young children to learn about water safety and become competent swimmers and it is something that needs to happen all year round. Free resources like the Kids Alive books and songs help to achieve that in a special and engaging way. ”
Popular singer Ryan Gittoes has written the eight new catchy songs for Kids Alive, based around water safety scenarios at the beach, in the pool, in the bathtub and at the farm. He said it was an extra special experience to write and record the songs, as along with other young backup singers, including his 8-year-old daughter Cedar performs harmonies with him.
“The songs are really fun and catchy and teach kids to be aware around water in a variety of settings,” Ryan said. “They’re also a celebration of water and that special connection we have with it and also how water activities are often a special, shared experience between parents and their kids.”
Emma Lawrence said Kids Alive was excited to be bringing these new songs to a new generation of under 5s.
“The Kids Alive songs have been a part of Aussie kids’ lives for over a decade and now we’ll have a new group that will be learning and remembering these songs,” she said.
“Anything we can do to reinforce what kids are learning at swimming lessons ultimately makes them safer and more confident around water and that’s a skill they’ll have for life.”
- 17 children drowned last year.
- 14% of drownings still occur in Winter ( 24% in Autumn)
- Dropping out of learning to swim impacts kids' confidence in the water when they need it most in the warmer months again.
Trina McColl 0413 922 284
Interviews Laurie and Emma Lawrence
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