All kids know how to drink water. Not all kids know how to swim in it.
Approximately 1.2 million people around the world die each year from drowning incidents and over 50 percent of those incidents are from children, according to ilsf.org, the website for the International Life Saving Federation, which is the world authority for drowning prevention and lifesaving sport.
About one third of those children who drown, do so in and around the home, according to the website.
All children should be taught how to swim.
Many parents picture their family vacations on the beach or at a resort, swimming in the ocean or the pool, playing, laughing and having a great time. The happy thoughts always drown out the bad ones. The thought of their child drowning is the last thing that crosses their mind. In fact, 58 percent of parents do not even consider drowning a threat to their children, as reported by infantswim.com.
Two key barriers preventing children from learning how to swim are fear of injury or drowning and lack of parental encouragement, according to the USA Swimming Foundation.
Yes parents, you may think “my child never is near water and never gets in the water, so why should they need to know how to swim?” That is a reasonable question, but the answer is that your child is not safe.
These accidents that have been causing deaths among young children are unnecessary. Swimming is a skill that must be taught. There are many basics to swimming that can only make a child safer near and in the water. Breathing is a crucial skill that can and will save one’s life. Floating and bobbing also have the same result.
“All kids should most definitely be taught how to swim. Its one of those ‘everyone needs to know how to do’ things. Once you learn, you can’t really forget it because its a skill,” said Abby Barley, who is a swimmer herself. “I’m a lifeguard and I’ve seen too many people who try to learn how to swim when they’re older, and it is much harder for them. Do everyone a favor and start when you’re young.”
With so many local places that offer swim lessons for all ages, it should not even be a question whether to sign up for a session. Its not like it is a hassle to hunt down a facility. In Penn Manor, the Conestoga and Millersville pools offer swim lessons to children in the summer, and local rec centers in Lancaster county do as well.
By Jenna Reel