Many drownings happen when kids fall into the water while wearing clothes, which weigh them down, making it even harder for them to stay above the surface.
That’s why it’s so important for kids to have swim lessons where they practice swimming in their diapers, clothes, and shoes. It might seem strange for a child to get in the pool with a whole outfit on, but it’s the best way for them to learn how heavy, soaked clothes change the way swimming feels. That’s how they’ll be best prepared to rescue themselves if they ever fall in, which can happen quietly in a split second.
We’ve all seen TV shows and movies where a drowning occurs. Usually, it’s someone in a bathing suit splashing around loudly, screaming for help.
But in reality, a person who’s drowning is typically silent as they slip under the water. That’s because we can’t yell when our respiratory system is trying to focus on its primary function – breathing.
So, the best way to combat drowning is to be as prepared as possible and that means getting comfortable swimming in different scenarios.
Some facts about drowning:
Drowning is the third-leading cause of unintentional death nationwide.
Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates.
Boys account for three out of four child-drowning deaths
The likelihood of drowning in natural water settings – lakes, oceans, rivers – increases with age.
Formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent in 1- to 4-year-old children.
Children should always be actively supervised in and around water by a designated person keeping their ears open and their eyes on the water at all times. Stay off the cell phone, put the book down, and focus only on what’s happening in and around the water.
Always remember that drowning is silent and happens in seconds, but you can help prevent it by staying attentive and making sure your child is prepared with formal swim lessons – especially lessons that include learning to swim with clothes on.