Summer is closely coming to an end, with that follows the last of the pool parties, the beach trips or the trips to the community pool. With every event that is near a pool or any body of water, parents and those with little loved ones, we need to pay close attention. Drowning in pools and spas is still the leading cause of death for children. The statistics are alarming. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 75% of child drowning fatalities are for children 5 and younger. 70% of African American and 62% of Hispanic children cannot swim. Residential locations dominate in incidents for those under 5 yrs of age. Do not think that these statistics are only for toddlers. The annual average of 390 deaths are from 0-14 years of age.
If that’s not enough for you then check out this story, A four year old drowns saving a 3 year old. Its tragic and possibly could have been prevented. Or do you remember in 2010 when 6 teens drowned when one drifted out too far and the rest went in to help. Parents looked on as they could not swim either.
What’s the solution? Well besides closer adult supervision, you can enroll your child into professional swimming lessons. There are places that offer swimming lessons for babies as young as 6 months old. Yes, it can be costly but in the long run it’s well worth it. My daughter, Jade has been in swimming classes since May of this year, I only pay $68 a month. That’s 1 class a week. There aren’t any contacts so we can stop at any time. What are the advantages; she is introduced to water early and that reduces the fear, she learns how to swim properly and confidently. The classes we’re in are year round, small and she has the same teacher all the time so they build up a trust level.
One time when my mother came to watch Jade and I at her practice she over heard them tell the older kids to come to the next practice in full clothes, they were going to get in the water with regular clothing on so they become familiar with what to do if that were to ever happen. They would be able to react differently because they know it’s just water and they just have my clothes on, no different from when they have my swimsuit on. Also Jade’s school doesn’t believe in floaties because they say it builds up a false sense of self confidence.
Find out what your town or community offers in swimming lessons or check out poolsafely.gov for information and tips.