Back in October, I wrote a post about the importance of water safety for infants and toddlers. (Click here to read that post.) In wake of another drowning, I want to reiterate the importance of taking the best safety measures we can to prevent another tragedy.
Drowning is a leading cause of unintentional death for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has for years discourage swim lessons for children age 4 and younger. But this morning, they have changed their stance. According to their news release:
“New evidence shows that children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction. … The new guidance recommends that parents should decide whether to enroll an individual child in swim lessons based on the child’s frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and certain health concerns related to pool water infections and pool chemicals.”
You can read the entire news release by clicking here.
You can also watch a segment from the “Today” show that features different ways kids learn to swim and about the Infant Swimming Resource program that is available here in Oklahoma. To watch the “Today” show May 24 clip, click here.
As the Memorial Day long weekend approaches, now is the time to get your child familiar with the water and the ways to survive if he or she were to fall in.
And remember, nothing can replace a watchful and attentive parent or guardian. Don’t take your eyes off your children for a moment if there’s water nearby. Be sure your pool has the proper fencing/barriers to prevent your child from getting to the water unattended.
For everything water safety, go the AAP website: http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/watersafety.cfm.
Have a fun, but SAFE summer.
We hear about it too much, it seems. A baby or toddler drowning. Many times in the care of responsible parents. It’s the leading cause of unintentional death for children.
I’ve written posts for Hiccups before on the importance of water safety, but in light of another recent drowning, I’d like to share my personal experience with a program my 3-year-old son is in.
Infant Swimming Resource is a program I found after a user on NewsOK.com posted a comment on a story about a baby drowning a couple of months ago. Her comment was, “If the family only knew about ISR.” That comment prompted me to look into this program.
I went to their Web site, www.infantswim.com, and watched the videos and read about parents’ experiences with the program. I have to say, I was instantly impressed. (Click below to see the video.)
These babies and toddlers weren’t just swimming, they were performing self-rescue skills. I found an instructor in the Oklahoma City-area using the online locator and got him started in the lessons.
I’ve had my son in swimming lessons before, but have been very disappointed with the results. He was only swimming with a floatie on or by using a noodle and these give children, and their parents, a false sense of security. Children don’t fall into pools with floaties on. If they did, no child would drown.
What ISR does is look at all aspects of a child. The program uses many fields of study in their approach – psychology, biology, physiology and anatomy. And most children go through the program and are skilled in self-rescue swimming in only 4-6 weeks.
When my son started, he had never even been put underwater. He never floated on his own. He was terrified of going underwater. Now he is in his last week in the program. He can swim underwater, turn to float to get his breath then continue swimming to the side of the pool. Without the aid of any flotation device. If you knew my son, you would know this is truly impressive.
The lessons are one-on-one with a highly trained instructor. Because repetition is key, they are every weekday for the full 4-6 weeks. To prevent water fatigue, the lessons are only 10 minutes long.
I urge every parent to check out this program. I am truly impressed with what my son has learned and with the professionalism and knowledge of the instructors. It’s a small price to pay and small amount of time to spend on preventing the senseless tragedy of losing a child to drowning.
My son is 3, which means he’s suddenly eligible for all sorts of extracurricular activities (otherwise known as energy-burning-so-he-doesn’t-run-circles-around-the-house activities).
So there he is … signed up for everything I could get my hands on. Gymnastics: One night a week. Swim lessons: Two nights a week. Soccer: Practice one night, and games on the weekends. Yes, he’s only 3.
There may be a misconception here that I’m sort of a stage mom. A “boys-need-sports” stage mom. But really, I just want my toddler to be active from an early age and to experience various sports so that he’ll be open to more than just one activity. I don’t want him to get into couch-potato mode.
I just know that all the running around can leave me a bit running-ragged. My son seems to enjoy it but ends up pretty cranky by the time it’s time to go home or leave the activity. Carrying him kicking and screaming through the gymnastics facility’s parking lot makes me wonder if it’s really worth it.
Any thoughts? Do you have your young children in sports? How do you make sure you have enough down time in your child’s day? Comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department has planned some FREE summer activities for kids. Here’s some fun you and your children can get in on:
FREE Kids’ Fishing Classes
For ages 5-15, these classes teach casting, knot-tying, fish identification, angler etiquette and fishing regulations. No license or permit required and equipment is provided. Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
July 25 – Dolese Youth Park Pond, NW 50 and Meridian
June 20, Aug. 22 – Crystal Lake, 6625 SW 15
July 11, Aug. 8 – Metro Tech Springlake, NW 36 and Springlake Drive
July 18, Aug. 15 – Edwards Park Lake
City Pools are now open and admission is free all summer. They include:
Northeast Pool, 1300 NE 33
Woodson Pool, 3405 S. May
Carson Pool, 8301 S. Villa
Minnis Lakeview Pool, 12518 NE 36.
Swim lessons are offered for kids and adults at all area pools for $20 per session. For more information about lessons, or to get a free parks & pools guide, call 297-2211.
Play in the Park
This annual program offers FREE supervised activities such as arts, crafts, games , reading and field trips for kids age 6 and older. 26 metro-wide locations have the program. Click here for more information.
Father’s Day Downtown
On Sunday, June 21, Dad gets in free (with a paid family member) to:
Myriad Botanical Gardens & Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory, 301 W. Reno
OKC Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City National Memorial, 620 N. Harvey.
So take Dad out on his special day and enjoy all downtown has to offer.
For more information about OKC Parks & Recreation’s events, go to http://www.okc.gov/Parks/index.html.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor
My son recently turned 3. At that very moment (literally!) everything changed.
At 3, most toys are somehow instantly safe. Go down any toy aisle, and the recommended age for toys is 3 and up. Sure helps not to have to worry about him choking on small parts anymore. Or having to order the “3 and younger” toy at the drive through.
At 3, toddlers have their first dental appointment. My son will go Monday. The best part? Parents are told to wait in the waiting room. I don’t have to be the one to restrain him while he’s throwing a fit during his cleaning.
At 3, they see the pediatrician for the annual checkup. Best part? No shots. That changes on the 4-year-old visit, but that’s a whole year away.
At 3, they get to start all kinds of sports. My son and I are very excited about him finally being old enough to be on T-ball and soccer teams at the YMCA this year. Let’s burn off all that extra energy.
At 3, they are officially out of the mommy-and-me swim classes. In fact, parents are not allowed anywhere near their 3-year-olds during swim class. Hooray! No more bathing suits until summer. Which gives me another 2 months to get in shape.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor