Summer is here, pools are open, and school is almost out! Swimming is such a fun activity for kids and a great way to cool off during the hot and humid days here in DC. Taking kids to the pool can be stressful but with good planning and safety tips, it is fun for all! Whether it be your backyard pool, a public pool, swim club, lake or ocean, there are important water safety tips to keep in mind.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in U.S. children ages 1-4 years and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in children and adolescents ages 5-19 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Young children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water, and it can happen quickly and silently. In March 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidelines for drowning prevention to combat the dangers of water for children.
Below is a helpful safety checklist from the British Swim School if you have a backyard pool. Most drownings happen in backyard pools, so please read this if you have a pool or will visit family or friends with a pool over the summer.
The AAP recommends swim lessons for all children, and their parents, as another layer of water safety. Recent studies suggest that water survival skills training and swim lessons can help reduce drowning risk by as much as 88% for all children including those ages 1 to 4 years old.
My two youngest kids have been enrolled in the British Swim School for the past four months and I highly recommend them for swim lessons! They first teach water acclimation and water survival skills before they teach swim strokes. So you can enroll your babies as early as 3 months old; the earlier, the better. British Swim School focuses on learning the back float first because children can breathe without obstruction or difficulty and call out for help in the event of a water emergency.
Teddy is only 20 months old and he is almost able to float on his back unassisted. He is in the Swimboree level at the British Swim School. Along with working on his back float he is working on submersions, separating from me, independence in the swim ring, and an assisted submerged Torpedo rollover (this teaches the child to turn over under water and get into a back float position if they were to fall in). He is also practicing holding on to the pool wall, moving along the wall, and exiting the pool from the wall.
My daughter, Mae is in the Starfish level and has overcome a lot of her fears associated with swim lessons. She started working one-on-one with Ms. Bonnie a couple weeks ago and is making great progress. Ms. Bonnie is the owner of British Swim School Central Maryland, which provides over 1300 swim lessons a week in Montgomery County. She is an amazing swim instructor and has a lot of patience with Mae, who can be a challenging student. This past week Ms. Bonnie was able to get Mae to do a few submersions! This was a big, big deal for Mae and I’m so proud of her! Ms. Bonnie’s approach is gentle and fun and she knows just what to do in order to get great results. We couldn’t be more appreciative and thankful for her!
If you are interested in enrolling your child in the British Swim School, use code CapMom19 for $20.19 off first month of group lessons. Click here to find a class near you.