May is National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month. As I have mentioned before here, this is a topic that is dear to my heart as someone who grew up at the New Jersey shore. Although my children are growing up urban, we find ways to expose them to water frequently and work on practicing our water safety skills. The below content was provided by the Goldfish Swim School in Fort Washington, PA, where my family spent last Friday night at one of their daily open family swims. My daughter put all of our water safety skills to the test as she attempted to drown herself within an arm’s reach of her dad. It is never a dull moment in our household. Thankfully, mommy is a good swimmer and the Goldfish Swim School has lifeguards.
Water Safety Info Every Family Needs to Know
The swim and water safety experts at Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington and Mount Laurel share practical tips and skills.
May is National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month. This important topic impacts all families. Every adult that supervises children in or around water needs to know basic information on how to keep kids safer in around water.
When it comes to drowning, the statistics are pretty staggering. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death to children ages one to four—and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages one to 14, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, statistics show that thousands of children are hospitalized each year for nonfatal drowning incidents. Accidents can happen quickly. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds.
Every parent and caregiver needs to keep the following water safety tips in mind:
Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children EVERY SINGLE SECOND. After all, most children who drown are supervised.
The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental and intellectual benefits.
Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
Know that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t overestimate their skills and that they understand the importance of never swimming alone.
In addition to these tips, there are several basic skills that the water safety experts at Goldfish Swim School work on with students every week. Parents can practice these skills with their kids anytime they are in the water together:
Work on getting in and out of the pool safely. Elbow, Elbow, Tummy, Knee! Help your little ones learn how to get out of the pool by manipulating their bodies in this order: elbow, elbow, tummy, knee. Practice this often; you can even do this on your living room floor by having your baby climb onto a couch or chair! After you practice, always remember to celebrate. Eventually, your little one will be strong enough to manage the movement on his own! This is a skill that kids continue to use to safely exit the pool — even when they are older!
Jump, Turn, Swim to the Wall! Once they have the movement down, let your child jump off the side of the pool to you, help him physically turn back to the wall and then assist him in getting out of the pool by using the elbow, elbow, tummy, knee method. Do this over and over again as he gets more confident let them go under the water and come to the surface on his own. This teaches kids to automatically turn back to the wall behind them to climb out. If a child were to fall into a pool, this skill could help him find the quickest way to safety.
Sea Otter Float. Work with your child on turning over and getting his face out of the water to take a breath when he fatigues.
We’d love to see you and your family in the pool to work on essential swim and water safety skills this summer!
About Goldfish Swim School
Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years-old in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student to teacher ratio), shiver-free 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School also offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages. For more information or to register for lessons, visit the website .
We loved the facilities at Goldfish Swim School, which were convenient and clean. First of all, the pool is so warm! I loved how cozy it was. Next, we were able to shower the kids after swimming and change them into their pajamas in their warm, private changing rooms. Then, the kids got to spin their swimsuits in the bathing suit drier and blow dry their own hair at the blow dry bar. On the way out, they each got a lollipop for the ride home too. If only it was closer to our home, we would be there all the time!_______________________________________________________________________________
[This is a promotional post. I was not compensated but did benefit from a free open swim session. All opinions are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Please talk to your own health care provider about medical concerns related to swimming, or anything else.]