At Cathy's School for Lil' Fish, we are concerned with teaching water safety in conjunction with swimming strokes and skills. While I do not wish to scare anyone with stastistics, the CDC reports that "although drowning rates have slowly declined, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years." link
Because there are less swimming pools in Idaho than in warmer places like California and Florida, many people are not as knowedgeable about water safety so they are not as likely to teach their children about it. However, children in Idaho still have a lot of access to open water; not only at pools, but also at rivers, lakes, irrigations ditches, and ponds.
It is with that in mind that we will be posting a water safety tip each week. We hope that parents will take the time to discuss these rules with their kids.
Rule #1: NEVER SWIM ALONE!
When we teach this to our kids in swimming lessons, most of them understand that they, as children, should not swim without adult supervision. However, when we ask them if it's OK for adults to swim alone, they almost unanimously say, "YES!' (even the older kids). We remind them that it's important to ALWAYS swim with a buddy even when you're grown up. It's safer in case an accident happens and it's a lot more fun. So set the example for your kids and remind them whenever you're near water that it's never safe for anyone at any age to swim by themselves.
Cathy is a swimming instructor in Boise, Idaho.