Swimming instructor Shiryl Fish with five-year-old Seth Alexander at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre.
Swimming instructor Shiryl Fish with five-year-old Seth Alexander at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre. Alistair Brightman

FREE LESSONS: Kids can learn a vital skill these holidays

A FRASER Coast swim school is working to combat a tragic statistic.

Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children under five years.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council is offering free swimming lessons at Hervey Bay and Maryborough Aquatic Centres.

Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre swim instructor Shiryl Fish has taught hundreds of babies and children how to stay safe in the pool and believes it is an essential skill to have.

"Especially growing up here with so much water around," Mrs Fish said.

"We've got the pool, the ocean, dams and ponds, it's really important they (children) can enjoy the water and be safe."

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Mrs Fish said swimming lessons were not only lifesaving, they had other health benefits too.

"It keeps them active, it's great exercise, plus studies have shown swimming can help them in school with concentration and improve their learning ability," she said.

Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said council was more than willing to offer free lessons to children under five years.

"Swimming is such a natural part of life on the Fraser Coast and council is pleased to be able to help children learn to swim and water safety," he said.

Learn 2 Swim Week will run across Australia and New Zealand from October 2-9.

To register your child for free swimming lessons at Hervey Bay or Maryborough Aquatic Centres, visit learn2 swimweek.com