By now, most people have heard at least one extremely sad, child-related drowning story. You read or listen to the story and felt heart broken for the family. But, you think that will never happen to you. Well, I’m here to tell you it’s possible but can be preventable.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (“AAP”) announced a new policy statement on drowning prevention. This includes guidance on when to start swim lessons and tips and tools for parents to help prevent drowning.
According to the AAP, “drowning is the No. 1 cause of death among children aged 1-4, and it is the second-leading cause of death among teens.” This statistic, although scary, is very real. Most children love to swim and it’s only smart that we, as their parents, make every effort to make it safe.
For my family, all these statistics only help to support my prior belief that swim lessons are crucial. My children are regularly exposed to pools and lakes throughout the summer. We try our best to always practice safe swimming when we are together. But, like most parents understand, children are not always with you and can also get into mischief.
While I’m fine with children discovering life through a little mischief, I’m not fine with it causing them any harm. By getting them swim lessons early in life, I’m providing them with the tools necessary to save themselves in a scary swimming situation.
Goldfish Swim School has not just helped my children feel comfortable in the water, but it has taught them key rules in swim safety.
- There are a multitude of adults around at all times. The teachers are in the pool; there are teachers walking the perimeter of the pool, serving as extra eyes.
- They are taught the importance of switching from their swimming to floating on their backs. This teaches them not to panic and take time to rest.
- The younger groups are taught the crab crawl against the wall of the pool, followed by the proper way to get yourself out of the pool.
- The youngest and most introductory students take lessons with a parent, reinforcing the “only enter the water with a parent” mentality.
As my youngest child reaches four months old, she will be old enough to enroll in swim classes (with me or her dad of course). There is no doubt in my mind that we will start this immediately. The AAP recommends starting early and as a family. I will feel much better about my children having fun in the pool knowing they are instinctively being safe as well.