Did you know drowning is the #1 cause of death in children ages 4 and under with Florida being #1 in the country and Hillsborough County #1 in the state? The Florida Department of Children and Families recently released a report for 2021 in Florida alone, 98 children died from drowning with 66% of those were under the age of 4. It’s everyone’s responsibility to help teach impactful water safety to our children.
The benefits of swimming are not just limited to the pool. The Griffith Study, done by an Australian researcher, also proves that early swim lessons can increase cognitive and motor function in young children, and make them more confident and academically successful later in life. Watermelon Swim, along with Champions for Children and so many other child-serving organizations in our community, is extremely passionate about safety in and around water and all of our swim lessons include swim, safety, and survival skills. We believe together we can change the statistics.
Things we want families to know
- Drowning is silent
- Drowning begins in as little as 7 seconds
- 2 out of 3 kids who drown were last seen in the house
- Drowning is preventable with layers of protection put into place including:
- Active supervision
- Swim lessons
- CPR & First Aid training
- Never assume someone else is watching your child, designate an adult as a “water watcher” at social events and take turns being the dedicated water watcher. This means no distractions, eyes continuously on the water until it is the next adult’s turn.
- Do not rely on flotation devices to protect your child. The best protection is swim lessons and supervision.
- Talk to your children about ways they can be safer such as:
- If they see someone struggling in the water, do not jump in, get an adult and yell for help
- Do not go near water until an adult is ready and watching them
- Wear a life vest when on a boat, canoe or kayak
- Look before they jump or dive into water, something or someone may be there or it may be too shallow
- Read the pool and beach rules together to form good practice as they grow
Are you up-to-date on Florida’s pool laws?
Florida Law states that pools need to have 1 of 4 safety features installed including:
- An approved safety pool cover
- A 4-foot pool fence completely surrounding the pool preferably with a self-closing gate
- Approved door and window alarms for exist that lead to pool areas
- Approved self-closing, self-latching devices on doors or windows leading to the pool no less than 54 inches above the floor
Childhood creativity is fearless and sometimes dangerous. You can make swimming part of your child’s at-home curriculum. If you have a pool at home, now is a great time to practice those life-saving swim skills, with proper supervision. If you don’t have access to a pool, enroll your child in a swim school. The more safety measures put into place the better.
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