May is National Water Safety Awareness Month. Water safety is a topic that impacts all families. Every adult who supervises children needs to know basic information on how to keep kids safer in and 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. 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.
The swim and water safety experts at the new Goldfish Swim School Yorktown Heights (opening summer 2018) believe that 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 swimming children EVERY SINGLE SECOND. Most children who drown are supervised.
- The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer 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 overestimate their skills and that they understand the importance of never swimming alone.
In addition to these tips, there are several basic skills that the water safety experts at at Goldfish Swim School work on with students every week in lessons. Parents can practice these skills with their kids anytime they are in the water together:
- Work on getting in and out of the pool safely. Fin, Fin, Belly, Flipper! Help your little ones learn how to get out of the pool by manipulating their bodies in this order: elbow, elbow, tummy, knee. Practice this often; you can even do this on your living room floor by having your baby climb onto a couch or chair! After you practice, always remember to celebrate. Eventually, your little one will be strong enough to manage the movement on her own! This is a skill that kids continue to use to safely exit the pool — even when they are older!
- Jump, Turn, Swim to the Wall! Let your child jump off the side of the pool to you and help him physically turn back to the wall and then assist your child in getting out of the pool by using the fin, fin, belly, flipper method. Do this over and over again. As your child gets more confident let her go under the water and come to the surface on her own. This teaches kids to automatically turn back to the wall behind them to climb out. If a child were to fall into a pool, this skill is the quickest way to safety.
- Sea Otter Float. Work with your child on turning over and getting their faces out of the water to take a breath when he/she fatigues.
Goldfish Swim School Yorktown Heights is registering students into classes now for a summer 2018 open. To register, please visit the website or call 914/440-3330.
About Goldfish Swim School
Goldfish Swim School Yorktown Heights provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years-old in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student to teacher ratio), shiver-free 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School also offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages. Goldfish Swim School Yorktown Heights opens in summer 2018. For more information, please visit their website.