According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drownings are the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 through 14, second only to motor vehicle accidents. The majority of those accidents occurred because the children (and their parents) overestimated their ability to swim.
You can strengthen your children's water skills with a simple step that could save their lives. Nearly every organization dedicated to the health and safety of children, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (www.aap.org), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development, recommend swim lessons for all children over age 4. Swim lessons teach your child more than just how to swim. Most programs begin by teaching children water basics like how to breathe and float in the water, skills that can be crucial lifesavers.
In addition, swim lessons will help your children become more familiar with the water while teaching them how to move easily in it. The most important benefit of swim lessons is that they make your children better swimmers and help protect them from drowning. However, it's important to note that swim courses are not recommended for children under age 4. No matter how strong your son or daughter's swimming skills may be, they should never be left unattended while playing in the water. Assign an adult who has no other distractions to watch the pool, lake, or other body of water while children are playing and swimming. Also, discourage horseplay that could lead to injury. In addition to enrolling your child in certified swim lessons, you can prepare yourself for emergency by learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
|The Importance of Lifeguarding
The American Red Cross offers lifeguard training opportunities for people age 15 and older. Lifeguarding is a great way to spend a summer as well as a rewarding career. Through classroom instruction and hands-on practice, you'll learn the following:
- surveillance skills to help you recognize and prevent injuries
- rescue skills in the water and on land
- first-aid training and professional rescuer CPR to help you prepare for any emergency
- professional lifeguard responsibilities like interacting with the public and addressing uncooperative patrons
Lifeguarding can build skills that will assist you the rest of your life. Contact your local American Red Cross to find out more about becoming a lifeguard!
This article, provided by My Health Publisher, can be viewed here.