Swim Safety Saves Live
● By Digital Media Director
By: Andrea Oswald, Float On
Children are naturally drawn to pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, streams, reservoirs and beaches. They love to reach in to touch the water, or go after something that has fallen or is floating in the water. Despite a parent’s best efforts at supervision, it only takes one head turn before an accident can happen. Giving infants and toddlers aquatic survival skills provides extra protection at a time when they’re most vulnerable to drowning.
Many parents feel that swimming lessons for infants or young toddlers are not necessary because they’re always watching. Some parents rely on flotation devices such as water wings, floaties, swim trainers and the like, but these only foster a false sense of security. Children accustomed to wearing such devices, often meet tragedy when they enter the water without them. All too often, a child either slips out of the device or decides to jump in the water once it has been taken off, thinking they are still able to “swim.” These risk factors multiply when there is more than one child for a parent to supervise around water. Although supervision is the single most important deterrent to drowning, who can say they constantly keep their eyes and hands on an active two-year-old?
Exposing children to an aquatic environment at an early age is extremely beneficial to their confidence and comfort in the water. When parents enroll their children in swim lessons, many are disappointed when they don’t learn to swim. Understanding the widespread differences in swim programs enables parents to make an informed decision when selecting a swim program for their children. Swimming and floating are motor skills that can be taught to a baby at a very young age, through repetitive exercises, along with gentle verbal encouragement. Showing infants and toddlers what we want them to do, repetitively and over a short period of time, helps them learn the skills necessary to survive. In the unfortunate event where an infant or toddler has entered into a struggle in water, it is important to know that they cannot raise their heads to take a breath. If your child falls face down into the water, knowing how to roll onto a face-up back float can save a life! Give yourself the peace of mind you deserve and empower your child with the skills needed to safely enjoy the water! Don’t take chances, take control!