OAKS, PA - With summer right around the corner and parents likely already planning family trips to the Jersey shore and safety experts say now is the time to start thinking about your child’s safety this summer.
May is National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month and when it comes to drowning, the statistics are pretty staggering. From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages one to four — and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages one to 14, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What’s more, statistics show that thousands of children are hospitalized each year for nonfatal drowning incidents. Accidents can happen quickly. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds.
So that's why instructors at Goldfish Swim Schools around the region are teaching kids throughout the year to be brave around any body of water.
Every parent and caregiver needs to keep the following water safety tips in mind:
- Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching children EVERY SINGLE SECOND. After all, most children who drown are supervised.
- The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer in and around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental and intellectual benefits.
- Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
- Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
In addition to these tips, there are several basic skills that the water safety experts at Goldfish Swim School work on with students every week. Parents can practice these skills with their kids anytime they are in the water together.