The following sponsored content is provided by our partner and water safety expert, Mandy Yackey, owner of Goldfish Swim School – West Chester (opening summer 2016).
The month of May marks the start of summer activities for Cincinnati-area families! Hooray for summer! May is also recognized as Water Safety Awareness Month. This is a time to ensure that every family is educated when it comes to water safety as we prepare for beach and pool season. So, what do parents really need to know when it comes to water safety? What can we do to make sure that our kids are safe anytime they are around water? How do we have fun in the water while also ensuring that everyone plays it safe? As the owner of Goldfish Swim School West Chester, the topic of water safety is something that I take very seriously and it is our mission to make sure that the kids in our community are safe around water.
When it comes to drowning, the statistics are pretty staggering. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death to 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, with a significant number sustaining lifelong, profound, permanent brain damage. Also, a child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds.
Here are some practical water safety tips that all parents and caregivers need to know:
- 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 swimming 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 safe 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.
- Know that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t over-estimate their skills and that they understand the importance of staying hydrated at all times.
Regardless of skill level, here are some MANDATORY water safety skills that all parents and adults must be familiar with:
- Climbing out of the pool safely: Elbow, elbow, tummy, knees!
- Holding on to the wall and walking their hands along the wall to safety: the steps or ladder.
- Rolling over from a front float to a back float.
- Jumping off the side of the pool, swimming to the parent, turning themselves around and swimming back to the wall. Teaching to get back to the side of the pool quickly is an essential safety skill.
These are the skills that we practice every single day at Goldfish Swim School! We look forward to opening our doors this summer and welcoming your family into our brand new facility. See you in the pool!
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Mandy Yackey is the owner of Goldfish Swim School West Chester. Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes, shiver-free 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. For more information or to pre-register for lessons, please visit http://westchester.goldfishswimschool.com/ or call 513/857-1700.