Children First: Swimming Safety - KOTA Territory News

Children First: Swimming Safety


Schools out and summer is right around the corner, and this can only mean one thing for pools-they'll be full of children for the next three months.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, drowning was the second leading cause of unintentional death among children between the ages of five and nine and the leading cause of unintentional death for children under four.

Aquatics professionals say there are several ways to identify a good swim lesson program to give youngsters the best advantage when getting in the water.

They say to make sure it's a nationally recognized program, be aware of the facility and instructors-if it doesn't look safe, pull your child out, and always make sure there is a lifeguard on duty.

"Drowning can happen in as little as 20 seconds," said YMCA of Rapid City Aquatics Director, Frances Seeley. "Their up above at the top of the water struggling to get a breath, they swallow some water and each time that they breathe in, more water their body fills and makes them heavier and they sink to the bottom and they have no chance."

Seeley says students must go through 30 hours of classwork and meet other requirements such as extended treading, holding their breath, and being able to swim at least 300 yards before becoming a certified lifeguard.


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