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It’s not just about swim lessons

My girls could have drowned. The oldest is 10, the youngest 3, and both have an unstoppable love for the water. Both of them know how to swim. One has regularly competed in swim meets, the other can swim independently across a pool, and both have been in swim lessons since they were just 4 months of age (at Houston Swim Club, of course).

We were in a backyard pool with 3 adults supervising. The oldest was treading water, with her sister launching from the steps and swimming to her, then back again, "teaching" her how to swim, as older sisters will do. Back and forth they went, perfectly safe…

Until they weren’t.

There wasn’t a cry for help, or loud splashing, or any signs that we might associate with "drowning".

The 3 year old just grabbed her older sister and didn’t let go, so they were both silently dragged underwater like an anchor.

Swim lessons? Check.

Safe pool with gates? Check.

Supervising adults with CPR training? Check.

Kids having fun

It can still happen. Drowning is silent. Drowning can happen to anyone. We were all in the pool with them, so we grabbed them as soon as they went under the surface. But what if we had been chatting on the side of the pool? Or lounging on the deck with a phone? Or any other distraction that could take our attention away from them for even a minute?

That’s why we don’t just teach children how to swim. It’s not just about swim lessons.

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4. It’s something we want to STOP. That’s why we support drowning prevention groups (Stop Drowning Now), deliver water safety presentations to schools and mom’s groups, and work with non-profit foundations.

Did you know that May is Water Safety Awareness Month? At HSC, we focus on water safety all year 'round. But in May, every year, we spend an entire week of classes teaching our students (and parents!) more than just safety floating and "monkey walks" (if you don’t know what those are, ask your 4 year old!). We spend time learning how to properly wear a life jacket. We talk about following the rules at the pool. Never swim alone. Know where to find help. We teach parents how to organize "Water Watchers". Be alert and recognize the risks around the water. Don’t jump in the water after your friend, and so much more.

Water Safety Week at Houston Swim Club

This month, watch for changes to the end of your child’s swim class when we discuss these important Water Safety lessons. Talk about the lessons with your little swimmer at home. It’s never too early to learn water safety, and you can never remind them enough. Just like my two girls, even “swimmers” can get into trouble in the water.

That’s why we don’t just teach swim lessons. It’s not just about learning to swim, it’s about being SAFER around the water.

If you’re not currently swimming, there’s still time to get into classes for water safety week.

For more information about water safety week, visit https://www.houstonswimclub.com/safetyweek

Written by Chris Fossan, Houston Swim Club

May 5, 2019
"Water Safety" 

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