US Swim School Association Helps Parents Detect If Their Kids Are Water Smart
Guidelines to evaluate if kids know basic water safety skills to stay safe at the pool, in open water.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. According to research by the United States Swim School Association, between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2014 there were at least 511 media reported drowning incidents involving a child under the age of 18 in the United States. Of these incidents, a little more than half occurred in a swimming pool and about 45 percent involved children ages 5 and under. The tragedy of these statistics is nearly all drowning deaths are preventable.
Parents need to be aware of their children¹s swimming capabilities as well as their knowledge of how to be safe around water before summer beach and pool season arrives. Water wings and other floatation devices are no substitute and should not be relied on to keep kids who don¹t know how to swim safe.
To help parents determine if their children are knowledgeable of basic water safety skills, USSSA has created a basic safety guideline parents can use to evaluate their children’s water safety skills. USSSA also reminds parents that enrolling their children in year-round swimming lessons is one of the first defenses in drowning prevention. Even if children can complete the following tasks, year-round lessons can help children maintain their swimming skills and build strength.
- Flip and Float. Any time a child enters a body of water unexpectedly, he or she should know to first reach the surface then flip onto his or her back and float until help arrives.
- Find the Side. If your child accidentally falls into a pool he or she should know how to swim to the side, and either pull themselves out of the water or move along the wall to the stairs where they can safely exit.
- Do a Clothes Test. Children might be successful swimmers in their goggles and swimsuit but if you have a backyard pool there could be a situation where your child falls into the pool fully clothed. To help your children know how to react and judge their skill level in a situation like this effectively, under your supervision, have them jump into the pool with clothes on and swim to the side.
- Throw, Don’t Go. When asked what they would do if a friend or sibling is struggling in the water, children should know to not enter the water. Instead, they should look for a device that can reach into the water such as a pool noodle, a foam ring or even a large stick the struggling person can grab and hold onto while being pulled to safety.
- Take a lap. If you have a backyard pool it is a good idea to test your child at the end of the summer to make sure your child can swim a full lap of the pool. This will inform you if your child can swim far enough to reach the side or a step to exit the pool no matter where he or she falls in.
For more information on USSSA, details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization, or to find a USSSA affiliated swim school near you, visit: http://www.usswimschools.org
About US Swim School Association
US Swim School Association (USSSA) began in 1988 to fill a gap in the swim school industry. USSSA has become the largest and preeminent swim school association in the country with over 400 members providing swim and water safety instruction to over 500,000 students each year. Swim schools receive invaluable benefits as USSSA members, receiving the latest training in water safety, swim instruction methods and tools, invitations to annual conferences, and many other benefits that help establish and build each individual business. USSSA has partnered with Safer 3 Water Safety Foundation for its official water safety program. Through USSSA, parents and students are provided with a reliable and trustworthy resource when searching for a swim school and can rest assured they have chosen a top school when they choose a USSSA affiliated location. For more information, visit www.usswimschools.org.