When the sun is shining, there’s no better way for the entire family to cool off and beat the heat than going for a swim together. But did you know that, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 people drown each day in the United State, with children 13 and younger representing 20% of that total?
Fortunately, you can make swim time safer for every member of your family by following a few common sense precautions.
Enroll Your Young Children in Swim Lessons
Participation by children ages 1 – 4 in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning by almost 90%, so start them young. And while home instruction is a great way to reinforce what they learn, a certified swim instructor will also teach them about water safety and survival, thereby making it more likely they can overcome a water-related emergency.
Understand What Drowning Looks Like
The movies depict drowning with lots of splashing and yelling. In reality, the victim can look like he or she is simply treading water, when in fact they’re using every last breath just to stay afloat. If you see someone gasping for air, bobbing up and down in the water, and with their arms stretched out, immediate help is required.
Supervise and Use the Buddy System
We’ve all experienced moments when a child is right next to us one second and gone the next. Never leave a child near water unattended, and that includes the bath tub. If you must leave, take them out of the water or designate another responsible adult to watch over them. Also, avoid swimming alone, no matter how good of a swimmer you are or think you are.
Invest in a Good Vest.
Skip the cute character themed floatation devices and invest in a Coast-Guard approved vest for your young child, or anyone in your family who may not know how to swim. And since not all dogs are great swimmers, perhaps your dog could benefit from a vest of its own.
At Optimum Air, we wish you a safe and happy summer season, in or out of the water.