What Parents Need to Know About Swimming Lessons, Drowning Prevention
Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for kids under age 5 and Texas often leads the nation in drownings involving children. Children swimming in Shanghai
Instructors at the Emler Swim School in Dallas say swim lessons can lower the risk of a child drowning and instructors needs to be researched and vetted just like you would research a child's pediatrician.
"The younger a child starts [swim lessons] the less likely they are to develop that fear of the water," said instructor Melissa Callahan.
As young as six months, kids are taught to get comfortable in the water and as they get older, how to float, how to swim and, just as important, how to climb out of a pool if they fall in.Instructors say it's important to teach a technique called "Jump, Turn, Swim" which teaches kids to return back to where they entered the water.
Mother Kelly Cone enrolled her three boys in weekly year-long lessons with a two-week intensive daily course for her oldest sons once summer started.
Cone said she got serious about lessons after a friend's toddler drowned in a backyard pool."I think everybody thinks it's not going to happen to their kid," Cone said. "But I realized there are things as a mom I can control and I can't control, but this is one of them I can control."
Instructors say parents need to brush up on their skills, too -- know CPR and when at a pool or lake, assign someone whose sole job is to watch the water.
"Even if there is a lifeguard present, make sure you're aware of where your child is," Callahan said. "A lot of times drownings happen when there are a lot of people that you think are watching."If a child goes missing, check the water first and remember, drowning is silent and happens in seconds.