Tag Archives: Australia

Are you a young enough dog to learn a new trick?

10 Feb

I discovered a very cool app for your iPhone this week – teaching your child to swim. Check out uSwim Australia, http://www.uswim.com/ or go directly to iTunes to download the free app http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uswim-teach-kids-to-swim/id411167209?mt=8

As a mom, I love how this program works. It embraces critical aspects of keeping kids safe in the water – it is a gradual, fun and positive introduction to the water for very young children. It follows building blocks of skill development through repetition, age-appropriate and positive lessons. And, it centers on one-on-one interaction with a parent/caregiver so your child feels safe and associates positive time in the water with an adult.

But what’s really intriguing about this initiative is how it turns accepted wisdom on its head and embraces new technology to reach a wide range of people. It uses technology to reach parents and caregivers who have regular, easy access to water where they can teach their child every day. Yes, it’s aimed at people affluent enough to own an iPhone or iPad, and yes, it’s important to get your child in regular structured classes with a professional, but but who’s to say the concept can’t be expanded using available technology to reach an even broader range of people?

Let’s look at the evidence: third world country economies are being transformed by the ability to transfer small amounts of money via cell phones; governments are toppling, aided by Twitter and Facebook. With one child drowning every minute across the globe it seems like high time to take a good hard look at how new technology can end an old problem.

Kudos to uSwim for pushing the envelope!

moved

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Could you have saved Emily?

9 Nov

At a popular Australian pool last week, Matthew Kennedy, an 8-year old boy with autism, a severe speech impediment and learning difficulties, recognized that Emily, a 3-year old girl, was in distress. He jumped in, grabbed her arms, lifted her head above the water and pulled her out of the pool. Emily was unconscious and foaming at the mouth. Matthew’s father and the lifeguard began CPR, Emily began to breathe again and she was taken to the emergency room, still alive.

There are two heroes in this story – the first is clearly Matthew, whose brave and selfless actions saved a younger child. The second is Matthew’s father, John Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy had been a lifeguard for 25 years. One month earlier he began teaching his children what to do in an emergency, as he himself knew water safety and CPR.

Teach water safety, swimming and CPR. Emily would thank you.

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