Teaching Proper Swimming Technique Prevents Needless Accidents

by Pool Builders on 08-17-2010 in Articles

The hard, cold, fact is that unintentional drowning is the second most frequent cause of accidental deaths among children up to the age of 14 and almost 1,000 children die from drowning each year in the United States. The highest rates are for children under the age of five. And, the American Academy of Pediatrics has estimated that for every child drowning fatality there are up to four more non fatal incidents that are serious enough to require hospitalization. It is vitally important that you teach your child the correct swimming technique needed for their water safety and your peace of mind.

Here are a few more statistics about drowning that you should be aware of:

  • Just under 20 percent of accidental drowning happen in public pools with certified lifeguards on duty!
  • The National Safety Council estimates that about 5,000 kids under 14 end up in a hospital due to near drowning accidents each year. Of this total, 15 percent (750) die in the hospital and almost 20 percent (1,000) suffer irreversible neurological damage.
  • The Orange County CA Fire Department says that, of all preschooler drowning deaths in their jurisdiction, 70 percent of children are with one, or both, parents at the time of the accident and 75 percent were out of sight of the parents for less than five minutes

In the face of such grim statistics the natural reaction is to never let your child get anywhere near a body of water bigger than a drinking glass but this is clearly unrealistic. Ponds, lakes, pools, beaches and streams are all recreation places that are ideal for escaping the heat and for fun in the summer and it's very natural for kids to want to splash around and have fun with their friends.

While children do need constant supervision in the water, to prevent accidents, your child needs to learn how to swim, and swim well. A child who has been taught the correct swimming technique is more confident in the water and will not panic in a sudden fall into a pool, or from being dunked by a friend. Children as young as three can be effectively taught beginning swimming techniques and by age four children will benefit greatly from swimming drills designed to reinforce basic water safety practices.

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