Pandemic means many kids missed lifesaving swimming lessons – Consumer Health News

SATURDAY, June 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Many children have missed potentially life-saving swimming lessons during the pandemic, so parents should enroll them in lessons as soon as possible, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“Drowning is the leading cause of death by injury in children ages 1 to 4, and it is one of the leading causes of death in adolescents. In the summer, children often have more access to swimming pools, lakes and other water sources – all of which are at risk of drowning,” said Dr Sarah Denny, lead author of the AAP’s advice on drowning prevention.

“Swimming lessons teach kids a life skill that could help save their lives,” Denny noted in an AAP press release. “Research shows that formal swimming lessons for children 1 year and older reduce the risk of drowning. Swimming lessons are an important layer of protection to prevent drowning, in addition to pool fencing, close supervision and lifeguards while swimming, life jackets on boats and lakes, and CPR training.”

All children and adults should learn to swim, according to the AAP. Children can benefit from swimming lessons as young as 1 year old, but parents should assess their child’s maturity, health issues, exposure to water and willingness to decide if a youngster is ready for swimming. swimming lessons.

Close, constant and careful monitoring around water is crucial. Designate an adult “water watcher” — who should not be distracted by work or socializing — to constantly watch children swimming, advises the AAP.

“When a young or unskilled swimmer is in the water, a water watcher or parent should be close at hand. Even when a child has learned to swim, water watchers should constantly keep him in sight while he’s swimming,” Denny said.

For toddlers, some of the greatest drowning risks are in the home. If you have young children, empty all buckets, tubs and wading pools immediately after use, keep the bathroom door closed and use toilet locks.

Swimming pools must be surrounded by a four-sided fence, with a self-closing and locking gate. Pool fences can reduce the risk of drowning by 50%, according to research. Additional security measures may include door locks, window locks, pool covers and pool alarms.

“We can’t protect children from drowning, so it’s important to make sure there are fences and other barriers around the water to make sure children can’t get in. unattended water,” Denny said.

Adults and older children should learn CPR, and all adults and children should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets whenever in open water or on a watercraft, according to the AAP.

It is also important for parents and teens to understand how the use of alcohol and drugs increases the risk of drowning while swimming or boating.

More information

There is more on water safety at the American Red Cross.

SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics, press release, June 7, 2022

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