One example after another is flying around us about drownings or near-drownings in young children, as Joke Kieboom, pediatrician at the UMCG warned about earlier this week. Losing sight of children for a while with catastrophic consequences. Is it then good to only approach parents negatively about the supervision of their child? Do you not only build up a feeling of guilt about this?

Shiva de Winter believes that this is not the best approach. He absolutely advocates an awareness campaign for parents, but indirectly also for children in education. You can't just blame the parents when something goes wrong, because as the saying goes, "accident is in a small corner".

Reference is often made to parents who are easily distracted by telephones, iPads or a book. Shiva de Winter agrees, and with years of experience in swimming pools, he sees this like no other. But the first thing that comes to mind when reading every (near) drowning case is the big question, how could this have happened? Were parents not paying attention, was there no other supervision or was there no one around who could have prevented this? But is this really fair?

All aspects are dealt with in education and at school. From the dangers in traffic to sex education. What is missing in his opinion is the handling of water. Suppose someone learns what a mouse is from an early age. Learning first at home and then at school not to play along the water's edge. In addition to swimming lessons, teach children about the dangers of water. This lays a much deeper foundation than the repair policy and the ad hok promotions that are taken out every summer. Shiva de Winter realizes that this is thinking out of the box, but if this is picked up, you lay a good foundation for swimming safety. Every city or village has swimming specialists who could help schools with this. We must do it together.

We can all point to The Hague to solve this, according to de Winter. Now that it has become clear last year that this is not the solution for the future of swimming education, it is time to look at schools and swimming authorities individually. The utopia that swimming associations will tackle this together remains, but who knows, they might see something in this. Theoretical swimming safety lesson at primary school from group 1 or 2. He sees benefit in it. Now let's see who else sees something in this. The ideas are already on the shelf to supplement swimming lessons.

Dutch Foundation for Water & Swimming Safety

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In addition to swimming lessons, teach children about the dangers of water.
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