Posted on May 27th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
Swim Lessons–a life long gift
One of the greatest gifts you can give to your child is teaching them how to swim. One of the smartest parenting decisions my wife made for us was to enroll our children in swim school at Little Fishes Swim School when they were little.
Benefits of Swim Lessons
The benefits of swim lessons for your child while they are young create a sense of confidence, develop motor skills and learn water safety. At Little Fishes Swim School, children as young as 6 months can be enrolled. Trust me, as a parent you are more stressed about seeing your baby in the water than the baby is or the instructors at Little Fishes.
Whether you take your children to Little Fishes Swim School, the YMCA, or private lessons, your are increasing your child’s ability to be safe in and around water.
Maybe You Learned to Swim the Hard Way?
Maybe you were taught to swim by having a parent toss you in the middle of the pool and yell “swim”! Yes, I learned to swim much this way and I don’t recommend it. Worse than not learning to swim is developing a fear of water. Plus, by the time kids are seven or eight, they are embarrassed if they can’t swim in front of their peers. I wanted my children to learn how to actually swim and not just merely survive.
Swim lessons do not “Drown Proof” children–always monitor them closely in the water
No matter how well our kids can swim, they are never allowed to swim alone. One of the real benefits of taking our kids to Little Fishes Swim School is the focus on safety. The staff reinforce that children should NEVER swim without an adult. Yes, our kids think they have gills because they spend a lot of time in the water, but we constantly preach they cannot swim alone. When they were smaller, I did write a lot of blogs on water safety and children because we used to have to “layer” our safety efforts when the kids were toddlers.
While we do not want children to be afraid of the water, we want them to have respect for water safety. Swim lessons or “survival training” does not mean that you should EVER let your small children swim alone or without an adult. Have flotation devices in various locations around the swimming area. If the depth is not clearly marked, do not allow diving. This goes for pools and lakes. When the depth mark is labeled on the side of the pool, it is not wise to dive in areas that are six feet or less. In fact, many spinal injuries occur every year when individuals go head first into lakes and pools in water that is too shallow.
You Really Cannot Be Too Much of a Pool Safety Nerd when it comes to swimming safety
Children and adults can drown quickly and unexpectedly. Often when someone is drowning, they are not able to shout out for help and in fact, can be easily missed. If you have a large group swimming in your pool, you will want to have parents monitoring or maybe hire lifeguards if you are sponsoring a pool party such as Backyard Lifeguards.
Other safety reminders to Keep Your Kids Safe Around Water
- Don’t allow glass bottles or dishes anywhere near the pool area
- Don’t allow anyone to run around the pool area as slipping on concrete can cause serious injury including brain injury
- Be certain your pool is fenced off. Most St. Louis building codes require that you fence your pool and most insurance companies will require it. Keep your pool secure
- Keep the pool area or hot tub clear and clean. Maintaining the proper chemicals and testing it regularly minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious disease
- Establish and enforce the rules of safe behavior such as “no diving”, “stay away from drain covers”, “swim with a buddy” and “walk please”
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies
You want your summer to be fun for your kids and for you. Keep your pool safe and if you are at the lake, swim in designated areas and monitor your children. Summer is for fun, but can be one of the most dangerous for little kids. If you have questions or suggestions on how to make the summer for safe and fun for kids, let us know. We always look for great safety organizations such as Little Fishes Swim School and Backyard Lifeguards who work at fun and put safety first!
Call us seven days a week at (314) 276-1681 or toll free 1-800-685-3302
If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, do not hesitate to call a personal injury attorney at The Cagle Law Firm for a free consultation.