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Water, Water, Everywhere

A day at the pool, a swim at the beach, a soak in the tub: these are all relaxing thoughts. However, these things all have one thing in common; they can be deadly for children. According to a 2008 Consumer Product Safety Commission press release, drowning is now the #1 cause of accidental child death. Unfortunately, it will most likely stay at top for 2009 . Already 60 children have died in Texas alone from drowning this year. The 2008 total for Texas was 82, which was the highest ever recorded. With half a year remaining on the calendar and two of those months being summer months, it’s a reality check that proves child drowning needs more attention.

Kids Can be Their Own Floatation Devices : There is a new trend on the rise that could drastically reduce the number of child-drowning accidents. While this “trend” has been around for quite sometime, many people have never even heard of it. The technique is simple, just float. Infants as young as 6 months are now being taught how to survive in water by rolling over and floating on their backs. Children that are old enough to walk can be taught how to swim and then float when needed (for air or rest) until they are able to reach safety.

Unlike the swimming lessons most of us had as kids, these lessons focus on teaching the child to instinctively roll over if they fall into the water. While knowing how to swim can help a child survive, knowing how to float can add valuable time onto their chances for survival. Floating buys more time for the child to be found and rescued.

The vast amount of online video footage that demonstrates these techniques is incredible:

Children and infants don’t always enjoy learning this technique but it is one that could save their lives. Parents need to give their children the ability to save their own lives in such situations, rather than expecting themselves or someone else to rescue the child before drowning occurs. To find an instructor near you, visit InfantSwim.

Teaching your child to float or teaching them the swim-float-swim sequence does not prevent drowning. It is still important to remain overly cautious when it comes to children and water. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water. Also, even children that are the best swimmers are not immune from the dangers of drowning. Keep the following points in mind to reduce your child’s chances of drowning:

  • Missing Child: Since time is critical, always check nearby pools, lakes, ponds, creeks, or other known areas containing water.
  • Bathing: Never leave a child unattended. Consider placing the phone next to the tub when bathing your child. Make sure other children in the household are nearby or being supervised so that you don’t have to attend to them during your child’s bath.
  • Toilets: Toddlers are curious. Toilet lids should be kept closed and childproof safety clips should be installed.
  • Locks: Keep doors to pools locked.
  • Gates: Fence your pool in or install a safety gate around the perimeter.

Exercise caution all-year long, not just during the summer months. Children are curious and cannot be expected to understand every risk associated with their behavior. Keep yourself educated and aware. For more information see: Protect Your Child From Drowning and water safety.


  1. Gravatar for Hayley Jones

    I really hope that people inform their friends about this blog. While I was working at the InjuryBoard conference someone informed me about it. I had never even heard of it before, but it makes complete sense. People...start spreading word! You never know whose life you will save!

  2. Gravatar for Nick Carroll

    Our three year old started Infant Swim when he was about 18 months. He's now a fish and we loved the program and instructor. So now it's our nine month old's turn. Oddly our pediatrician is against the program. Her reasoning is that it gives parents a false sense of security. Clearly we disagree, but I would add that there is no substitute for constant supervision at all ages and all swimming levels.

  3. Gravatar for Hayley Jones

    Yes, nothing overrides the necessity for parental supervision. However, teaching your child how to float can significantly reduce the odds. I can't believe a children's doctor was against. This is obviously a wise platform to support. If anything Dr. He/She should have encouraged the program, rather than admonished it. It goes without saying that overseeing the child is the first line of defense!

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