Swim season has arrived, and whether you’re on a beach or hanging around the local pool, safety needs to always be top of mind for both parents and children.
According to the Redwoods Institution, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death, with an average of 10 drownings occurring each day.
The following are safety tips to practice when in and around the water:
Only swim when and where there is a #lifeguard on duty; never swim alone.
Adults should constantly and actively watch their children; 75 percent of #drownings happen in shallow water.
Inexperienced or non–swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
Parents or guardians of young children should be within an arm’s reach. Most drowning victims are younger than 13 years old.
Children and adults should not engage in breath-holding activities.
Four out of five drowning victims are male. Males tend to be bigger risk-takers.
Swim programs, either at a local pool or beach, provide children and adults an opportunity to meet new friends and develop confidence and a positive mental attitude, all while learning lifesaving water safety skills. In addition, #swimming is a great way to help more children be physically active.
Adults benefit from water exercise and therapy, and for children, swim lessons, specialty swim programs, or competitive water sports can be a fun motivator for self-improvement and goal attainment, and promote positive self-esteem. Indoor swim programs can also be a year-long activity that helps beat the winter blues when beach weather is months away.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Hugget, is the associate executive director of the YMCA of Lansing