In these uncertain times, during a global pandemic when we are “Safer at Home”, when work is at home, when school is at home, we are searching for fun home activities. With the weather warming up, needing to get out of the four walls of our homes, we are spending more time outside looking for activities to occupy our time. The curious child is at risk.
These are just a few examples shared with Watermelon Swim by families whose children take lessons at their schools. Childhood creativity is fearless and sometimes dangerous!
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14 as reported by the World Health Organization. The Florida Health Department reports that Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1 to 4. Annually, Florida loses three to four preschool classrooms to drowning.
Watermelon Swim is actively involved in reducing these statistics through year-round, indoor swim lessons taught by highly trained and loving instructors. We combine fun and learning; teaching children life-saving skills through games and songs. According to The Australian Journal of Early Childhood, children benefit significantly more when learning through play versus learning in a stressful environment.
Watermelon Swim offers fun, interactive water safety presentations for local preschools, elementary schools, and parent groups reinforcing the importance of the Ring of Safety. The Ring of Safety is a drowning prevention strategy that combines swim lessons, water safety education, active supervision, pool barriers, and CPR and First Aid training to keep people, especially children, safer in and around water. A study done by the US Department of Health states that formal swim lessons reduce the risk of childhood drowning by 88%. Swim lessons save lives by encouraging repetitive practice, year-round training, and muscle memory.
The National SAFE KIDS Campaign reports 9 out of 10 school-aged children who drown are under supervision by a parent or guardian. Parents often passively supervise children at the pool, watching children swim while playing on their phones, having conversations, or interacting in a crowded social situation where no single parent is focused on safety. Seal Swim School encourages all parents and guardians to actively supervise children in and around the water, avoid distractions, and designate a “Water Watcher” in social gatherings to eliminate accidents caused by passive supervision. Seal also encourages all guardians to become CPR and First Aid certified. Good sources for CPR and First Aid certification include the American Red Cross, local hospitals, and fire stations.
It is also vital for parents and guardians to ensure proper pool barriers are in place. While children are home from school and cooped up without normal activities to distract them, it is imperative that parents have door alarms, pool fences, and water monitors in place.
The benefits of swimming are not just limited to the pool. The Griffith Study, done by an Australian researcher, also proves that early swim lessons can increase cognitive and motor function in young children, and make them more confident and academically successful later in life. In keeping with this, Watermelon Swim's mission is to grow a community full of safer swimmers and reduce the risks while increasing confidence in and around water; a mission they are continuing even though their physical locations are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Make swimming part of your child’s at-home curriculum. If you have a pool at home, now is a great time to practice those life-saving swim skills, with proper supervision. If you don’t have access to a pool, Team Melon is providing “practice at home” tips and other activities through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.