Downs Little Lifeguards is a fun and educational drowning prevention program for children aged 9-17 years and their parents/guardians. Our main focus is to educate children and their guardians about potential dangers and survival strategies to combat these dangers, encourage confidence through hands-on experience and provide knowledge so everyone can help to save a life. The program is run by Royal Lifesaving volunteers and Toowoomba Region Aquatic and Fitness staff.
This is not a learn to swim program.
Downs Little Lifeguard program
The program runs during school terms 1 and 4 and offers school-based sessions and day trips for children and families to the beach and dam. Children and families will participate in ocean, dam and creek awareness activities and practice skills to potentially save a life.
The program is based around:
- Various aquatic environment awareness
- Survival swimming and water safety
- Rescue and recovery techniques
- Recreational safe play
- Learn CPR
- Practice survival swimming
- Learn rescue techniques
- Try various safety entries and exits
- Use flotation items such as surfboards, eskys, buckets, ropes and PFDs
- Use various recreational play equipment
- Children must be 9 years to 17 years of age.
- Children and adults must be capable of swimming 50m continuously (adults- if participating in water activities).
- The program cost of $15 per location must be paid.
- An adult must be responsible for a child or group of children on the day.
- We encourage adults to volunteer either in the water, on land as spotters or assisting with the BBQ/refreshments.
- Children may be split into two age groups 9-12 years and 13-17 years. Parents, please note that siblings may be separated to meet age group requirements. This allows for 2 levels of activities.
- Children are encouraged to wear the Downs Little Lifeguard rash shirt which can be purchased at a cost of $25 (if a rash shirt is owned from a previous program, please wear it on the day).
How to apply to join
To join the Downs Little Lifeguards program you can:
- fill in the online form: Pools - Downs Little Lifeguards application form (online)
- print out, fill in and return the PDF form: Downs Little Lifeguard registration form
In March 2019 children and parents gathered at Miami Beach for a fun filled day of beach and ocean activities. We learnt vital skills to enjoy the waves such as duck diving, body surfing and how to identify, avoid and escape rip currents. We also had the privilege of using the nipper boards to experience paddling, riding the waves and practice rescues. This was a highlight for many of the participants.
In February 2019 children plus parents experienced a fabulous day at Leslie Dam. Throughout the day we practiced survival and safety skills for enjoying the water. One of the key skills learnt on the day was how to complete rescues to help someone else and keep yourself safe at the same time. This was done through scenario based activities.
In March 2018 the Dam Busters day was held at Leslie Dam YMCA camp. Families experienced fun and safe recreational play using water trampolines and kayaking. Children were required to work as a team to assist peers climb onto the trampolines and kayaks in deep water, then practice rescue techniques using contact and non-contact tows, unconscious rescues (role played) and CPR on the dam bank.
In February 2018 families joined us at Miami Beach Surf Life Saving Club and enjoyed a hot day at the beach. The morning involved children battling it out in beach sprints, learning to body board, ride in waves and climb to the lookout to identify rips and current changes.
The afternoon saw children and adults join teams and participate in relays using boogie boards and fighting the currents. A brilliant day was had by all!
In February 2017 families travelled to Leslie Dam YMCA Outdoor Education Centre and engaged in a full day dam experience. Children and adults learned CPR and the dangers in and around dams, weirs and water channels in theory sessions.
Participants practised rescues and survival methods using everyday items commonly used at dams during recreation such as esky’s, paddle boards, kayaks, inflatable tubes, ropes and personal flotation devices.
In October/November 2015 children and adults participated in a 2 day pool course and a day trip to Neptune Royal Surf Life Saving Club where the focus was on tidal change, currents, rips and river swimming.
In February/March 2014 children and adults were involved in a 4 session program where 3 sessions were held in the pool learning rescues, tows, treading water, swimming with clothes and survival techniques.
A day trip was held at Neptune Royal Surf Life Saving Club where children practised what was learned in the pool while incorporating the natural elements of the tides, rips, and currents.