Summer is the time for fun, relaxation, laughter and swimming. To ensure the fun continues, parents and older siblings need to know how to keep children safe around water. Many may be surprised to learn that the leading cause of death in children is drowning. Here are some important swim safety facts:
· A child can drown in less than 2 inches of water in less than 5 minutes.
· Most toddlers drown in private swimming pools, unattended buckets, bathtubs, and toilets.
· Most infants drown in bathtubs.
To ensure your loved ones will be safe and enjoy the water, follow these helpful tips:
· Do not use infant bath seats or supporting rings as a substitute for adult supervision.
· Do not substitute swimming aides (such as water wings or noodles) in place of a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (life preserver).
· Keep infants or toddlers within arm’s length when in or around water.
· Remain focused on children in the event a rescue is needed.
· Understand that swimming conditions vary in different types of water. For example, a child that fares fine in a pool, could be at risk in a lake or other open body of water.
· All swimmers should be taught (and reminded) about the danger of jumping or diving into water, particularly unfamiliar waters. It can result in serious injury that may lead to paralysis or death. Entering water feet first is always the safest method.
· Never swim alone, use the buddy system.
Swimming can be a life-saving skill and an outstanding form of exercise that one can do throughout his or her life, but for babies, toddlers, and young children who cannot swim, one needs to be ever aware of how dangerous even a few inches of water can be. Understanding how to be safe is an important step to keeping your children healthy and happy this summer.
If you’d like information about summer swimming lessons, call one of the phone numbers listed below.
- Oaklawn Hospital Life Improvement Center-Summer classes-(269) 781-7585
- Marshall High School-Year round classes-Contact John Hamlin at 781-1331
- Albion Recreation Department at Albion High School-Classes held Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, starting June 15th- Contact Joni at (517) 629-7129