Our friends at Goldfish Swim School of Dayton are giving us the information we all need to know on how to keep our families safe in the water.
May is recognized as National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month – a topic that impacts all families, especially here in Dayton where we lost 7 children to drowning last year alone.
When it comes to drowning, the statistics are pretty staggering.
- Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in 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.
- Thousands of children are hospitalized each year for non-fatal drowning incidents, with a significant number sustaining lifelong, profound, permanent brain damage.
- A child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds.
Practical water safety tips that all parents and caregivers need to know:
- Anytime 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 over-estimate their skills and that they understand the importance of staying hydrated at all times.
In addition to these tips, there are several skills that we focus on at Goldfish Swim School. Parents can practice these skills with their kids anytime they are in the water:
- 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 in 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 their own!
- 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 them physically turn back to the wall and then assist them in getting out of the pool by using the elbow, elbow, tummy, knee method. Do this over and over again as they get more confident let them go under the water and come to the surface on their own
- Sea Otter Float. Work with your child on turning over and getting their faces out of the water to take a breath when he/she fatigues.
If you are looking to get your child enrolled in swim classes please check out Goldfish Swim School of Dayton located at 671 Lyons Road, Dayton, OH 45459. Phone: 937-972-0177.