Did you know that May is National Drowning Prevention Month? I was alarmed and saddened when I read that Florida has the highest number of unintentional drownings of children between the ages of 1 and 4, in all of the United States. Water is all around us (quite literally) – so many backyards and communities have swimming pools; canals and lakes around every corner; and don’t forget the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico! You’d think that people would be more cognizant of this and prepare their children.
There were 23 drowning fatalities from January 1 – April 15 of this year – in Florida ALONE. It’s time to teach our kids how to save themselves should they fall into a body of water and not know how to swim.
BARRIERS OF PROTECTION
Aside from teaching your children to swim, you should familiarize yourself with the barriers of protection needed to prevent any accidental drownings.
- Be sure to have a pool fence installed and make sure it is closed at all times.
- Remove all toys from the pool once you are done swimming. Toys are like a magnet to little kids.
- Place alarms on your doors and windows, especially the ones leading out to the pool.
- If you cannot find your child, look in the pool FIRST.
- Keep you pool water level high. If they happen to fall in, it will be easier for them to reach out to the side of the pool if the water level is high.
- Be mindful of chairs and benches – anything that your child can scoot over to the pool fence, climb on, and go over the fence to get to the water.
- Keep your eyes on the children at all times. Put the phone down and be present with your little ones.
- TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO SWIM!
TURN, KICK, REACH
I met the founders of Baby Otter Swim School after my boys had learned to swim, but am so thankful and appreciative of the service they provide for parents of non-swimming children. In 5 days, their certified instructors will teach your child how to turn, kick, and reach, or TKR as coined by the school, saving themselves from drowning. They come to your home or community pool – wherever your child is most comfortable and will be doing most of their swimming.
Andre “The Hawk” Dawson was an adult learner with Baby Otter Swim School, and has since lent his name to cause.
HELP YOUR CHILDREN NOT BECOME A STATISTIC
If your child doesn’t know how to swim, or know of a child that doesn’t swim, the best thing you could do is inform them of the terrible statistics I spoke about above. If you live in South Florida, I highly recommend checking out Baby Otter Swim School – the passion that the founders and each of their teachers possess is untouchable. If you live outside of their service area, there are many other schools, but please be sure to check their credentials and certifications.
Here’s the latest news segment with Mindy and Marlene, founders of Baby Otter Swim School:
National Drowning Prevention Month
Let’s work together to help prevent these unintentional drownings from ever occurring!