Makino water safety visits
The Makino Aquatic Centre Swim School have expanded their reach this term, visiting early childcare centres throughout the district.
Makino Instructor Morgan Hodgetts has been leading these visits. She’s passionate about water safety, and she has attended many early childhood centres where the visits have been well received by children, staff and parents.
“The centre visits are about teaching kids how to stay safe around natural waterways, so rivers, lakes, beaches. Even something as simple as if you’re at the beach, swim between the flags and what colours do lifeguards wear if you’re on a patrolled beach. Some of the skills and lessons that the kids learn could help to keep them safe,” says Morgan.
One of the key messages that Morgan tries to push with kids is the importance of lifejackets, so she brings one along with her for kids to look at and try on.
“Many adults are still in the habit of not wearing lifejackets, which is really dangerous and irresponsible. Kids can influence their parents or the adults in their life, and the earlier that we can install the message that lifejackets are essential if you’re out boating, over time people’s habits will change,” adds Morgan.
The visits have started small scale, but the Makino team are applying for funding to expand out the visits to include more schools in the district, including rural schools. The more kids with the knowledge provided, then hopefully the safer our children and Tamariki will be in the water in years to come.
To compliment the early childhood centre visits, the Makino have also invited the parents of these children to participate in practical pool sessions at the Makino. These sessions will give the children opportunities to practise what they have learnt and will educate and empower parents with the knowledge and confidence to be a key part of their child’s water safety learning journey.