It’s easy to miss that the vast majority of children in Australia have never even heard of a beach, let alone the concept of one.
It is also easy to forget that a beach can be both a source of enjoyment and a source for some very unpleasant experiences.
For example, there’s the time a child washes off the soap on the beach.
Or the time the kid comes home with their clothes and underwear in the bath.
Or when a toddler tries to play on the water.
Or, of course, there are the times a parent walks onto the beach, and sees a young child on the ground with his or her arms and legs tangled in the sand.
It’s all part of what is called the “discomfort of being in the ocean” or the “carpet war” or a similar term for the time children are on a beach.
Children’s swimwear is a perfect example of a non-contact beach experience, especially if a child is under six years old.
In most states, children’s swimsuits must be of a “safety rating” of 30 to 70.
In NSW, for example, the swimwear safety rating is 70, and the swimsuit should not be worn at all.
While a child may not feel comfortable being covered in water and sand, there is nothing wrong with being able to take a little bit of comfort from the experience.
This is why the Australian Government is working with the industry to introduce new regulations on swimming.
It was a good idea, says Julie Parnell, CEO of the Australian Swimming Association.
“In the water we are not going to be the only ones out there, it’s a natural progression.”
It’s a shame the NSW government didn’t listen to the industry when it came to the new regulations.
In 2011, the Government’s Surf Safety Advisory Committee recommended that children under six should be permitted to wear swimming trunks in public swimming pools.
The recommendation was accepted by the NSW Surf Safety Council, which included industry representatives.
The council was told that there were significant concerns about safety in swimming at the beach as well as at the water’s edge, and that trunks and other swimming equipment were too bulky for children to comfortably swim in.
But the Government was unable to provide a response to the council’s concerns, instead leaving the matter to the Advisory Committee to make its own recommendation.
“It was never really put to us by the councils,” says Julie.
After the NSW Swimming Council received an update in February this year, Julie says, it asked for more time to consider the issue.
“We received that the NSW Council had decided that they would take some time to review it.
“That’s when they suggested we wait a bit longer to look. “
“The council didn’t really take it seriously, but the Government did, so we waited.” “
So why has it taken the Government so long to get its act together? “
The council didn’t really take it seriously, but the Government did, so we waited.”
So why has it taken the Government so long to get its act together?
Julie says that it was because the NSW Government was looking to the public for input, rather than actually looking at the safety issues.
“When we look at what’s been recommended, we’re looking at recommendations that are being put in place, which is a lot of time, energy and money,” she says.
So while the Government has made significant strides towards making swimming safe, it still has a long way to go.
Julie says the industry will be continuing to advocate for new regulations, and for the Government to consider and implement the recommendations of the Advisory Council.
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