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BCB Sponsored: Water Safety Skills

By Lindsay Pinchuk

Alex Tyler, Owner, Goldfish Swim School St. Charles
May is Drowning Awareness and Prevention Month, a time to ensure that EVERY child has the skills he or she needs to be safe around water. This is the essential mission of the water and swim safety experts at Goldfish Swim School.
Alex Tyler, the owner of Goldfish Swim School in St. Charles recently returned from his third mission trip to Gales Point in Belize. Alex spent his time in this village teaching swim lessons to the children to ensure that they had the basic water safety skills they need. Have a look at this video to learn more about the progress that Alex and the kids of Gales Point made on building essential water safety skills.

Goldfish Belize 2016 from Nocturnal Media on Vimeo.
This video highlights the importance of water safety for all children. When it comes to drowning, the statistics are pretty staggering. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death to children ages one to four—and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages one to 14, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What’s more, statistics show that thousands of children are hospitalized each year for nonfatal drowning incidents, with a significant number sustaining lifelong, profound, permanent brain damage. Also, a child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds.
Beach and pool season are about to get underway here in the Chicago area and there are practical water safety tips that all parents and caregivers need to know:

  • Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children EVERY SINGLE SECOND. After all, most children who drown are supervised.
  • The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safe around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental and intellectual benefits.
  • Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
  • Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
  • Know that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t over-estimate their skills and that they understand the importance of staying hydrated at all times.

Regardless of skill level, here are some MANDATORY water safety skills that all parents and adults must be familiar with:

  • Climbing out of the pool safely: Elbow, elbow, tummy, knees!
  • Holding on to the wall and walking their hands along the wall to safety: the steps or ladder.
  • Rolling over from a front float to a back float.
  • Jumping off the side of the pool, swimming to the parent, turning themselves around and swimming back to the wall. Teaching to get back to the side of the pool quickly is an essential safety skill.

Now is the time to prepare for a safer summer. Enroll your little swimmer in a weekly lesson to practice these skills or join us for a family swim at one of our Chicago-area Goldfish Swim School locations to work on these basic water safety skills together! Check out the FREE Safety Day events being hosted by several of the local Goldfish Swim School locations on Saturday, May 14, 2016 to learn more about water safety tips you can practice with your kids. See you in the pool!
Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes, shiver-free 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. For more information or to register for lessons at one of the 7 Illinois locations, please visit goldfishswimschool.com.

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