Fearing for our children when it comes to water is perfectly natural. However, the “water-safe” myth is muddying the waters and is actually adding to the risk of child drownings. Some swim lessons programs make promises that they can make your child “drown-proof” or “pool-safe,” but the truth is that no child can ever truly be 100% safe around water.
As concerned parents it is easy to think that we are doing what’s best for our children by enrolling them in programs that claim to eliminate the threat of drowning. The value of these kinds of programs should definitely be evaluated with a healthy amount of skepticism to say the least.
Programs that simulate drowning can cause long-term, negative psychological effects on children and are widely regarded as ineffective at best and incredibly harmful at worst. The worst about these programs is that parents are lured into a false sense of security. Of all preschoolers who drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents at the time and 75% are missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.
While we can’t make kids “water-safe” we can make kids “water-safer.” Here are some smart measures that can make your child safer around water:
- Get swim lessons! children who have had swim lessons have an 88% decreased risk of drowning according to the National Institute of Health.
- Supervise constantly. Children should never spend any amount of time unsupervised around water. Remember — drowning is silent.
- Place barriers around pools. Make sure your gates are locked and can not be opened by children. Placing an alarm on the pool area is a great idea.
- Share what you know. 40% of pool drownings occur in someone else’s pool.
- Know how to respond in emergencies. You will find basic instructions below but it’s good idea to take a CPR course.
At Big Blue, we feel it is our job to help children not just survive around water but to thrive. Safety is a top priority for us because how can you thrive when you’re afraid? That’s why we encourage you to share what you know because 33% of preschooler drownings occur at the homes of friends, neighbors, or relatives.
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Q: Why did the banana go to the doctor?
A: Because it was not peeling well.
Q: Why was the baby ant confused?
A: All his uncles were aunts.