Kids Under Construction: Children and swimming

Kids Under Construction

(ABC4) – This week, parenting expert and journalist Donna Tetreault joins ABC4 to explain the risks related to child drownings.

According to a new report, child drownings are on the rise and experts warn that the pandemic has also put kids at an increased drowning risk in 2021 alone.

“According to experts, they’re saying because of the lack of access to swimming lessons last year during the pandemic…it is more risky for kids to get into the water,” Tetreault explains.

Tetreault says even right now, lessons are completely booked, resulting in many unprepared for the activity.

“So one thing that experts are saying is to just try to get your kids in the water safely and to start, you know, getting them used to the water,” she adds.

Tune in to the latest episode:

When it comes to drowning, Tetreault explains to be prepared for the worst, as drowning is always something unexpected.

“Drownings are silent and very quick,” she emphasises.

According to Tetreault, it is essential to always be on guard when having your children splashing in the water. Eyes should stay on the swimmer, she stresses.

Reminders to consider when having your children in the water:

  • Always actively supervise children around the water; do not let phones or other intrusions distract you and take turns with other responsible adults
  • Always use a lifejacket when in open water, children and adults
  • A good rule of thumb is to cinch uptight and float upright. Non-swimmers and weak swimmers should always wear a lifejacket in pools, lakes, and creeks. Water wings, pool noodles, and other floatation devices do not replace a coast guard approved lifejacket
  • Even at lifeguarded pools and waterfronts, always supervise your group. You are your child’s best defense against drowning
  • If children are missing, always check the water first
  • Register children for swimming lessons and check your local community facilities for scholarships

If you are interested in drowning prevention and the Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition visit their website.

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