Summer Vacation!!!!! Anyone else have kids who are bouncing off the walls, turned into whacked-out crazy people with the whole end-of-school, sad about leaving their teachers, excited/nervous about starting the next grade, thrilled to be free, to play for the whole summer? Everyone have their pool passes? New swimsuits? Water guns? Slippery slides? Sunscreen stocked up?
Just don’t forget the most important thing. Teach your children water safety and swimming. Watch your kids when they are in the pool. Protect your kids – learn CPR in case there is an accident. There have been some incredible initiatives and news reports in the last week related to swimming. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has a lot of great information about keeping kids safe this summer and they’ve kicked off a Pool Safely week to get people talking. Check them out at http://www.poolsafely.gov or follow them on Twitter @PoolSafely. The other exciting news is that the American Academy of Pediatrics announced this week that they are encouraging children between the ages of 1 and 4 to start swimming lessons. This is a change from their earlier policy, but research has been coming out that supports the idea that teaching children swimming from a young age can help reduce drowning rates. There has to be layers of protection – such as pool barriers and constant supervision, but putting kids in swimming lessons early is now recommended as an added layer of protection. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Well, it happens to a lot of kids. Two-year olds have the highest drowning rate of any age group. (source: CDC) In some states, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under-4.
There is nothing better than watching your kids shrieking with excitement and joy as they swim and play in the water – it’s the stuff that the best childhood memories are made of, so grab your suits and sunscreen and get out there!
Just remember: Teach. Watch. Protect.