The month of May brings to mind images of spring flowers, warmer weather, and of course, Mother’s Day. But May is also note-worthy, especially in the pool community, because it’s National Water Safety Month!
Water Safety Month is an annual campaign that was created by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals to raise awareness about water safety and to help everyone have safe, fun experiences in and around the water. While one of our main goals at Pool Scouts is to provide perfect pools, we also care deeply about the safety of our customers. And with people continuing to spend more time at home due to COVID-19, knowing how to swim is more important than ever. Teaching the importance of learning to swim is one way that we hope to prevent drowning, so we’re highlighting water safety all month long.
Water Safety Stats
Let’s talk about the not-so-great numbers first: According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 5, and it’s the 5th leading cause for people of all ages. In addition, as many as 69% of young children found drowned or submerged in pools were not expected to be in or at the pool.
While these numbers are startling, there’s good news: Teaching water safety can prevent drowning! And it turns out that learning to swim can do more than save a child’s life. A four-year study by the Griffith Institute for Educational Research found that children who were taught to swim by age 5 experienced a number of cognitive and physical advantages over children who did not know how to swim. They were also more advanced in mathematics, counting, language, and following instructions.
With all of the benefits of learning to swim, what better time to teach your kids than during Water Safety Month? We have a dedicated water safety page on our website with tips and fun activities to help make learning fun for kids!
If you haven’t signed your children up for swimming lessons yet, or perhaps you’d like to check out some adult classes for yourself, there’s still plenty of time to get water-ready for the summer. Our sister brand, British Swim School, has swim lessons for people of all different levels and ages. The Red Cross also offers swim classes.
Keeping Kids Engaged
But don’t go thinking that water safety simply begins and ends with a few swimming lessons. Elizabeth Beisel, two-time Olympic medalist and USA Swimming Foundation ambassador, offers up the following tips to keep kids safe and happy in the water:
- Once your children have learned to swim, create consistent practice time to enhance their skills and increase their confidence.
- Consider using water toys, pool floats, pool games and swim training gear to make learning to swim fun
- Swimming uses a ton of energy. Remember to take breaks and keep kids hydrated to maintain their level of confidence in the water.
Pool Scouts is consistently striving to help spread the word about water safety. In addition to keeping your pools clean and healthy, our goal is to help everyone stay safe while enjoying all of the fun and relaxation that water can provide.
To further spread the message about the importance of teaching kids to swim, Pool Scouts has partnered with the Hope Floats Foundation. Throughout May, participating Pool Scouts locations will be donating $1.00 from each service to the Hope Floats Foundation to provide scholarships to children for swim lessons in our community.