Swimming Safely

By Christy Lenahan - Macaroni Kid Content Contributor June 14, 2018

Some of my most fond memories as a child are of summer afternoons spent in my grandmother’s pool.

Swimming is a wonderful summer activity for children. It’s a great way to cool off during the heat of the

day and it encourages physical activity! Unfortunately, when not supervised appropriately, swimming

can be deadly. Each year, approximately 600 children drown in the US. Drowning is the number one

cause of accidental death in children 1 to 4 years and the most common cause of injury related death in

children 1 to 14 years. So, what can you do to ensure your kids are swimming safely?

First, never take your eyes off your little swimmers even in a baby pool. Children can drown in as little

as 25 seconds – and you may not even hear them struggle. With that being said, make sure all

distractions are out of sight out. For instance, leave cell phones in your beach bag, but do have them

available in case of emergency. Swimming lessons are helpful, but regardless of your child’s swimming

ability direct supervision is always a must. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics

recommends that formal swimming lessons begin after a child’s fourth birthday because younger

children are unable to voluntarily hold their breath for significant amounts of time.

The best flotation device is an appropriately fitted life jacket. Read the manufacturer’s label to ensure it

fits your child’s size and weight. Once fastened, gently pull on the tops of the arm openings to make

sure it won’t lift over your child’s head. If your child is under 5 years, a flotation collar will keep his head

upright and face out of water. Even with an appropriate floating device, direct supervision is still

required. Finally, should the unspeakable occur…make sure you or someone you are with knows CPR.

Each year free bystander CPR training is provided to the Lafayette area via the “Be a Heartstarter”

campaign. Additionally, there are several courses offered through the local Red Cross and other

community organizations for a certain fee such as Unitech Training Academy

Unitech Training Academy offers CPR Classes most Fridays in each month at their local campus. You can register online by clicking here