It’s finally May, and warmer weather is upon us! Many people in the Northeast are opening their backyard pools this week, my mother included. Last year, my daughter – then 4 – still felt a bit unsure of herself in the water, despite the fact that I encouraged her every time we were in the pool to trust in her ability to swim. Teaching your children about water safety should be an important part of everyone’s summer routine, especially since according to the CDC, “More than one in five fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger.” In fact, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
So what can you do to help your child feel secure in the water? Hire a member of the National Registry of Aquatic Instructors or the Infant Swimming Resource team to teach your infant or toddler to be able to save themselves in an aquatic emergency. According to their promotional video on YouTube, “Infant Swimming Resource has taught over 140,000 children from 6 months to 6 years to float, swim and survive in an aquatic environment.” There’s plenty of footage online serving as testimony that their technique works. This video shows a baby, not more than a year old, diving head-first into a pool, then turning himself over to a floating position so that he’s able to cry for help. It’s wild! Take a look:
The video gets a little uncomfortable towards the end, when the crying infant is left in the pool a little too long for my taste, but it does prove a point. This kind of survival instruction should be offered for free or at low-cost in every community around the country. You can get more information on swimming survival techniques at the ISR’s website (their motto is “not one more child drowns”) or by visiting childdrowningprevention.com.
10 Pool Safety Tips for Kids: Easy ways to keep your family safe this summer!