Summer is just around the corner and many folks–especially kids–are itching to get out of the house or the classroom to go swimming. Many parents are thinking about the best swimming programs for kids. While swimming is a fun activity that improves wellness and physical fitness, there are some dangers that parents should be aware of. Signing up for swimming programs will help to lessen the danger for children as they how to properly swim and respect the water. Please think closely about the following:
We often think that drowning occurs when someone is physically in the water. Dramatic movies and TV shows add to that assumption. However, there is an equally treacherous and much less well-known situation called “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” It can occur a significant amount of time after a person has left the pool or the beach. A swimmer usually breathes water into his or her lungs. As the fluid builds up, it can cause respiratory problems. The most common symptom is difficulty breathing. While this condition often clears up on its own, it can cause death if untreated.
Dry drowning can happen to anyone, but it commonly occurs in children because of their lack of experience in the water. Enrolling children in swimming programs is one way to reduce the chance of this happening. In addition, keeping an eye on kids in the bathtub and other shallow pools of water is a good idea as well.
While swimming programs for kids may teach children the basics of maneuvering around a pool with skill, not all focus on the hazards that may be found in and around the pool itself. Slippery floors and ladders could cause falls resulting in head injuries. It’s important that everyone knows that while pools are a fun place to hang out, it is important to be cautious for the sake of the other swimmers. Walking and entering the pool slowly can go a long way to improve safety.
Another particularly dangerous hazard is the pool drain. The suction caused by the device can be so strong that a person can be pulled under the water and unable to return to the surface. This is much more common in children than in adults. Lifeguards at public pools are usually trained to recognize this event, but it’s still important to keep an eye on your child. If you have a pool at home, make sure that children cannot access it unsupervised.
There is a commonly held, but incorrect belief that “chlorine kills everything.” As a result, pools are sometimes seen as the cleanest place around. Unfortunately, chlorine cannot kill off every single pathogen that ends up in the water, and the pool’s filtration system may not get rid of it quickly enough.
It’s possible to be infected by E. coli by spending time in pools that are not cleaned as much as they should. To prevent you are anyone from your family getting sick in a pool:
- Avoid drinking pool water
- Shower before and after swimming
- Do not urinate in a pool, and report anyone who does to a lifeguard
In addition, consider attending or enrolling your children in swimming programs at pools that supplement chlorine with other disinfectants.
When kids are having fun, they’re reluctant to admit that they’re tired. Sometimes swimming seems less physically demanding than running or cycling, but it is a sport and sometimes you need to take a break. Swimmers who are too tired can become sloppy and lose their form. This puts them at risk for drowning. Swimmers should always have someone else watching them who can recommend when it’s time to take a break.
Despite the warnings above, swimming is a safe and fun activity. Just keep these points in mind and have a great summer!
For more information on swimming lessons for children, contact Zodiac Kids. Options are offered for children of all ages to become better swimmers.