Florida owns a disturbing statistic, ranking highest in the nation for drowning deaths of children under the age of four. As we gear up for the Memorial Day weekend, and Florida families relax by the poo and head to the beach, Swim Life, a Central Florida survival swim school, reminds families to keep these Water Safety Tips at top of mind to ensure that children don’t become another statistic. Read below for the Top 5 tips for Pool Water and Beach Safety, as well as Water Safety statistics.
Top 5 Tips – Pool Water Safety:
- Designate a responsible adult to be a “water watcher” to ensure constant, attentive supervision of the pool – phone free and alcohol free!
- Put a life jacket on anyone who can’t swim and float independently
- Use pool fences and latched gates at all times – never assume a child won’t wander into the pool unsupervised
- If a child goes missing, check the pool first! And make sure at least one adult knows CPR with rescue breathing
- Enroll kids in lessons that teach independent swimming and floating – people don’t drown because they can’t swim; they drown because they can’t breathe – start the learning process NOW!
Top 5 Tips – Beach Safety:
- Look for a lifeguard stand, only swim on beaches with a lifeguard and swim as close to one as possible
- Put young or inexperienced swimmers in a life jacket at all times
- Parents set up on the beach with a direct line of site to the water, and take a picture of your child in whatever he’s wearing – bright colors are easiest to spot on a busy beach
- Educate kids who can swim about rip currents by practicing with them how they should swim (parallel) in the actual surf (see pics below)
- Avoid plants and any marine life and show kids what they should avoid
“Now is the time to register your kids in swim lessons if they don’t know how to swim. With all of the water we have here in Florida – pools, retention ponds, lakes, oceans – we must provide children with survival skills so they learn to respect water, stay safe and have fun,” says Kelly Whittemore, founder of Swim Life. “And before you open your pool to guests be a responsible home owner, host and parent set ground rules, have life jackets on hand for kids who can’t swim and ensure they wear them at all time. Finally, know your guest list. Get in a habit of asking guests “Who knows CPR?” and when pool barriers are open an adult should be perched right there, with no phone on them, so their eyes can be on the pool and kids swimming.”
Swim Life was founded on the belief that swim lessons can be more effective and enjoyable using real life scenarios to teach life-saving survival skills to children as young as six months of age.
Water Safety Statistics:
- Florida ranks #1 in the nation for drowning deaths of children under age 4
- Nationwide, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children under age 4
- Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children 5-14 years of age
- According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission data:
- In 2013, 355 children died of drowning in pools and spas
- 2,600 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal drownings in pools or spas
- The majority of drownings occur in June, July and August
- 75% of submersion victims are between 1 and 3 years old
- Most victims are being supervised at the time of incidents
- 65% of incidents happen in a pool owned by the child’s family
- 77% of victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less
ABOUT SWIM LIFE – Swim Life launched in 2012 by founder Kelly Whittemore is based on a mission to prevent drowning and enrich the lives of children by teaching them water safety and aquatic skills. The survival skill instruction is founded on the belief that swim lessons can be more effective and more enjoyable using basic, yet important tools. By bringing the real world, including specialized teaching tools and parent interaction into lessons once a week the survival swimming program has taught thousands of children around the world valuable, life saving skills so they can enjoy, respect and be safe around the water. Swim Life, an international company, is based in Lake Mary, Florida and currently has instructors throughout the state, around the country in seven states and in Okinawa, Japan.