Safe Kids Huron Valley and the Howell Area Aquatic Center Encourage Swim Lessons for Parents and Children
- Drowning deaths among children increase in May through August
- June 14 is The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
Howell, MI — The Howell Area Aquatic Center (1224 W. Grand River Ave.) will join waterparks, pools, and other aquatic facilities around the globe and host The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL), on Thursday, June 14. The annual event was created by the nation’s top water safety and training organizations to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim and help prevent drowning. The WLSL events will be hosted simultaneously around the world at 11 a.m. ET (3 p.m. GMT) in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record.
Katie Aseltine, head water safety instructor, with the Howell Area Aquatic Center, says learning how to swim is an important skill for both parents and children to learn. Tragically, drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
“In addition to hosting the WLSL event on June 14, we offer a number of swim classes during the summer months for adults and children of all ages,” said Aseltine. To register for the Howell Aquatic Center’s free WLSL event or for more information on the Center’s swimming lessons and activities, visit their website at: http://www.howellrecreation.org/swimming_lessons.html or call: (517) 540-8355.
According to Safe Kids Huron Valley, in the summer months between May and August, drowning deaths among children increase 89 percent over the rest of the year. And, home swimming pools are the most common site for a drowning to occur with a child less than 5 year of age.
“A child in or near water can get into trouble in a matter of seconds,” said Amber Kroeker, Coordinator, Safe Kids Huron Valley. “Supervise children when they are in or near water; use barriers, fences, and anti-entrapment devices for home pools and spas; learn water rescue skills such as CPR, and learn how to swim and enroll your children in swimming.”
Safe Kids Huron Valley reminds families to use layers of protection to help keep kids safer this pool season, and to Lock, Look, and Learn:
- Pools and spas should be surrounded on all four sides by a fence at least four feet high with self-closing and self-latching gates. Studies estimate that this type of isolation fencing could prevent 50 to 90 percent of child drownings in residential pools.
- Pools and spas should have compliant anti-entrapment drain covers and back up devices to ensure safer places for children to swim.
- Pool/spa covers, pool alarms, and door alarms can provide an extra layer of protection.
- Be mindful of inflatable or portable pools – these types of pools can also pose a drowning risk and are generally not separated by fencing on all four sides.
- Always watch children when they are around any type of water. According to a national study of drowning-related incidents involving children, a parent or caregiver claimed to be supervising the child in nearly nine out of 10 child drowning-related deaths.
- Designate a “Water Watcher” – a responsible adult who is in charge of watching children while they are in or near water. The Water Watcher should not be distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading or talking to others.
- Supervise children even if they know how to swim – knowing how to swim does not prevent drowning. Children who can’t swim well or can’t swim at all should be within your arm’s reach. They can also wear properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.
- Keep a phone near you – use it only to call for help if there is an emergency.
- If a child is missing, check the water first.
- Learn how to swim – it is an important skill for both children and adults to know.
- Learn to use life jackets. Children who can’t swim or can’t swim well can wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets that are appropriate for the child’s size and weight. Don’t rely on inflatable swimming toys such as water wings and noodles; these toys should never be used in place of U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.
- Learn CPR and know how to use rescue equipment – these are important skills to know if there is an emergency. In less than two hours, you can learn effective interventions that can give a fighting chance to a child whose breathing and heartbeat have stopped. .
- Teach children water safety rules such as never swim alone, always wear a life jacket while boating, and never swim or play near pool or spa drains.
About Safe Kids Huron Valley
Safe Kids Huron Valley, which includes Livingston and Washtenaw counties, works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children through age 14. Safe Kids Huron Valley is a member of Safe Kids Michigan and Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Huron Valley is proudly led by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Founded in 1987 as the National SAFE KIDS Campaign by Children’s National Medical Center with support from Johnson & Johnson, Safe Kids Worldwide is a 501© (3) non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. For more information about Safe Kids, visit: www.safekids.org or www.michigansafekids.org. For more information about Safe Kids Huron Valley, visit us on Facebook.