Recently we have noticed an increase in incidents occurring during school swim carnival events, a trend that Royal Life Saving Australia has also observed.
The most significant contributor to this increase for Belgravia Leisure has been the requirement for lifeguards to assist children showing signs of swim fatigue or struggle.
Whilst Belgravia Leisure teams have been exceptionally responsive and professional it is important to share our learnings and strive to reduce the frequency of these incidents.
What you need to know:
An increase in safety events during school carnivals is emerging throughout the industry, not just within Belgravia Leisure. Potential causes include:
- Due to COVID-19 lockdowns, children have not been in the water for some time, impacting their swim fitness.
- Parents are overestimating their child’s swim capacity on pre-carnival documentation due to insights based on their child’s capacity several years ago.
- The positive ‘habit’ of supervising children whilst swimming has diminished.
What you need to do:
- Just as we do with all our operations, ensure team members involved in school carnivals are always vigilant.
- Ensure that all team members have their required training and certifications in place and are loaded into Flare.
- Keep close contact with schools scheduled for carnivals – emphasise that teachers are required to always exercise attention and must never contradict or inhibit the actions of Belgravia Leisure lifeguards.
- If additional Lifeguards are required to ensure safety during a school swim carnival arrange this ahead of time with consideration to your contractor in consultation with your area/regional manager.
- Always prioritise safety! If something is concerning, take the required actions confidently and efficiently.
Belgravia is committed to ensuring the safety of our team members as well as members and guests.
In collaboration with industry partners, Belgravia Leisure is working to establish School Swim Carnival Safety Guidelines, please stay tuned.