LiveWell Louisiana

Swim Safety

Protect your children around the water to avoid drowning accidents.
February 11th, 2016 by: Misty Miloto

In keeping with the idea of swimming, it’s never too early to think about child swim safety. Every year, thousands of children lose their lives in avoidable drowning situations, and last year was no different. According to recent data released by the United States Swim School Association, between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2015 alone, there were 461 media-reported drowning events involving a child age 18 and under. Of the 461 drowning incidents, the most common location that the drowning occurred was in swimming pools (209), followed by lakes (76), rivers (51), ponds (25) and oceans (25). The majority of drowning incidents involved males (65 percent); females accounted for about 28.8 percent, and gender was not reported for the remaining 6.2 percent of cases. 

According to Sue Mackie, Executive Director of the USSSA, there are several things parents can do to ensure their child’s safety around the water. Here are some of her tips:

  • “After a winter away from the pool, test your child’s swimming and water safety skills. Make sure your child can swim a full lap of the pool. This will inform you if your child can swim far enough to reach the side or a step to exit the pool no matter where he or she falls or jumps in.”

  •  “Keep children under constant, unimpaired adult supervision when around water. At the first signs of struggle, even if you think your child might be playing a game, react and prepare to help. Drowning is often quiet so always watch the water.”

  • “Throw, Don’t Go — A young child struggling in the water can easily cause an adult attempting a rescue to drown as well. It is safer to throw a lifesaving device, towel, rope or even a pool noodle to the person in the water; wait until he or she grabs hold; and then tow the person to safety.”