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Summer Fun Should Include Pool Safety

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Summer Fun Should Include Pool Safety

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, but that fun can quickly turn tragic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. On average, 390 children 14 years old and younger drown in pools and spas every year; 76 percent of those deaths involve children younger than five.

Marni Kerner, Cooper Fitness Center Swim Pro, offers safety tips to keep kids and adults safe in and around water.

  • Children should never get into a pool, lake or other body of water without permission and supervision from an adult. Assign an adult “water watcher” to be on duty at all times (even if there is a lifeguard on duty).
  • Never leave a child of any age unsupervised in or near water.
  • Make swim lessons a priority for your children. The younger they start lessons, the better. But it’s never too late to learn. It’s just as important for adults to know how to swim and feel comfortable in the water.
  • Remind children to never reach for a toy or another object that has fallen into the water.
  • Prior to getting in water, scan the area for any safety hazards, including weather and large or wild groups of people in or near the water.
  • Keep a flotation device near the water at all times.
  • Use a floatation device to rescue a struggling swimmer. Never attempt to rescue anyone larger than a toddler without a floatation device; even small children can pull an adult under in a moment of panic.
  • Keep residential pools fenced with a four-foot or taller fence and install pool and gate alarms.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Life jackets should always be worn by adults and children when swimming in open water or while on a boat.
  • Teach children to keep their hands to themselves while swimming. Never push another swimmer under water.

Quiet Signs of Trouble

The warning signs of drowning may not be what you expect. Drowning is not noisy, but rather very quiet, and is often accompanied by little or no splashing after the first 10 to 30 seconds of active drowning. A struggling swimmer rarely screams for help. Here are a few signs of drowning every adult should know:

  • Look for bobbing up and down in the water.
  • A drowning individual will no longer be horizontal on the water.
  • Someone who is struggling in water will likely have a blank look on his or her face.

Learning to Swim

“It’s never too early to expose a child to water,” reminds Kerner. “Putting a child in water [whether in the pool or bathtub] and splashing water in his or her face, submerging him or her underwater and teaching floating skills are important to improve a child’s comfort and success in the water.”

Children who are around 18 months of age are at an ideal age to learn to swim because they are comfortable in the water, Kerner explains. Learning to kick, float and make it to the side of the pool and climb out are the most important water skills for a young child to learn.

While competitive swimmers will learn various strokes as they become more familiar with swimming, freestyle is the only swim stroke necessary for a child or adult to learn to be a sufficient swimmer. 

Children who have had a negative experience while swimming will often be much more reluctant during swim lessons or when around water. It is important for parents to create safe and fun experiences for their children. Take time this summer to be prepared, and enjoy the water with your family.

To learn more about Cooper Fitness Center swim programs or to register yourself or your child for swim lessons, please visit cooperswimacademy.com or call Marni Kerner at 972.233.4832, ext. 5447.  

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.