Keeping Your Kids Safe Around Water
● By Digital Media Director
Soon the weather will be prime for spending time at our regional lakes, rivers and pools. Among the many outdoor activities in which people will participate this summer, there is something special about swimming: regardless of your age, ability or fitness level, everyone in the family can have fun in the water together.
To prepare for your summer fun in the water, please consider these safety recommendations:
1. Check your safety equipment before they are in use (life jackets, rescue flotation devices, etc.).
2. Consider adding a barrier, such as pool fencing, to prevent unsupervised access to pools, or hot tubs.
3. Regardless of whether there is a barrier, always closely supervise children so they do not enter water without your oversight. When swimming, supervise children closely, never taking your eyes off your child for more than a few seconds. Tragedies can and do happen that quickly.
4. If your child is not yet a strong, confident swimmer, or is just learning about water safety, enroll them in swimming lessons before summer swimming season.
Why should swimming lessons be a priority to you? To be frank, because everyone in water is at risk of drowning. In the U.S., drowning is the fifth leading cause of accidental death. On average, two children under the age of 14 die from drowning every day. Worldwide, drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death, commonly affecting children.
If traditional styles of swimming lessons are not a good fit for your child, an adapted aquatics program can be an effective alternative format. Adapted aquatics programs are often offered to all ages and abilities. The primary goal of the program is to teach aquatic safety, but also to increase confidence, comfort and skill in the water. Certified instructors typically draw upon Red Cross training as well as a person-centered approach to create a unique swimming lesson sequence for each student. Adaptive aquatics swimming lessons often integrate goals and strategies of any other concurrent therapies, reinforcing and building skills beyond just swimming.