Swimming is a fun sport/activity for kids just as much as it’s a lifesaving skill.
According to Gulf Shore Realty, nearly 40% of homes in Sarasota County have swimming pools. If you’re native to South Florida, this number shouldn’t come to any surprise. The Sun Sentinel reports that close to 105 people drown each year in Florida, with a large portion of them being children. In fact, Florida has lost more children to drowning than any other state in 2017.
How can we prevent these numbers from increasing? Well, according to Debbie Hesse, executive director of the USA Swimming Foundation, “formal lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.”
Children can learn to float and breathe as early as 6 months of age! Some say that early water adaption should be seen by parents as children wearing a helmet when they ride their bike. Along with early water adaption, there are a few significant ways to improve water safety and reduce the risks of drowning for your children.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN HOW TO SWIM
The price of swim classes in Florida have dramatically decreased over the years. Swim schools these days provide extensive after-school programs with pre-competitive coaching options or club memberships for health and wellness lifestyles. Most swim schools offer discounted rates, special events and free assessments for your children - which means that teaching your children how to swim properly has never been this accessible.
GENERAL WATER SAFETY
Supervise your children around any body of water. Whether that is the pool, hot tub, lake, or ocean - be vigilant. If you’re at a larger gathering it can help to designate somebody to be the person to avoid all distractions and pay close attention to any children in or near the water. Even if a child is able to swim, you should keep any children under 4 years of age within arm’s length of supervision if they’re in the water. This ensures that you’ll be able to maintain their safety at a moment’s notice. It’s also important to not rely on any sort of flotation devices to provide any sort of safety or support. Be prepared! Some parents and caretakers will even learn CPR as a general safeguard.
RESIDENTIAL POOL SAFETY
One of the safest precautions to take for residential pool safety is to create proper barriers. Appropriate physical barriers can prevent people from falling into the pool unexpectedly and keep younger children from wandering into the water without supervision. While fences and gates do provide a huge sense of security and protection, children are still capable of opening doors and latches - so the next safest precaution for residential pool safety is to use alarm systems. Whether it’s pool alarms, door alarms or fence alarms, installing these kinds of barriers can cover your blind spots and create a safer environment for children. Depending on where you live pool alarms may be a requirement by law!
If you are a parent or caregiver then you are probably aware of pool and water safety guidelines, but it is always better to be safer than sorry! Hopefully this brief water safety overview will help you be more aware of the ways to reduce the risk of drowning for your family or loved ones.