July 23, 2012

Zaven's Wishes - One Year later

Nine year old Zaven Sears drowned one year ago after sneaking into a country club pool.  His parents have started a foundation to provide swimming lessons and teach life-saving skills.  Children who would not go for swimming lessons are being taught how to survive and help others in a water emergency!

The Zaven's Wishes Foundation's mission reports the following statistics:
An estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to unintentional drowning-related incidents each year; 15 percent die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.
National Safety Council
19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with certified lifeguards present.
Drowning Prevention Foundation
The majority of children who survive (92 percent) are discovered within two minutes following submersion, and most children who die (86 percent) are found after 10 minutes. Nearly all who require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) die or are left with severe brain injury.

I believe that even children who are afraid of the water should be taught basic water saving skills.  I don't think parents should wait until their child is "ready."  That child will not have a chance to survive!

Since the majority of children are discovered within two minutes following submersion, children who know how to hold their breath (even if they can't swim) have a greater chance of being rescued without suffering effects of water intoxication.  It is so easy to teach a child how to hold their breath.  A parent can do it in the bathtub and from the baby's first bath!  But parents have to be told and taught!

Also, children should practice opening their eyes under the water without goggles.   A child who can swim may panic if the goggles fall off because they think they need them to see under the water!

I learned this while teaching hundreds of children to swim!  How can we get the word out?

July 18, 2012

What is the best age to learn to swim?

What is the best age to learn to swim?  I think the better question is, when is the best time to learn to swim?

Many people wait for the Summer months to learn to swim.  What about the rest of the year?  If you don't take your child to swim during the rest of the year, your child will forget what they have learned!

Parents say, "My child was swimming last year!"  Learn to swim and keep on practicing during the year.  Go to a pool at least one a month and you be your child's teacher!  There is always more to learn.

I think that swimming starts from the baby's first bath!  I bought my baby grandson a swim neck ring and he loved it.  I still held him a little but he had so much more freedom of movement than when you are holding him.  Here we are in a Jacuzzi, perfect for babies learning to swim!  Have you ever heard of the swim neck ring?  It is not very popular in the USA.

This article and video from the BBC describe that any age is a good time to learn to swim and that there are so many benefits to learning how to swim!  20% of adults don't know how to swim.  The article shows babies learning to swim and some seniors learning to swim and be safe in the water.  The best time to learn to swim is as young as possible!!

July 6, 2012

How to put your baby under the water for the first time!

Mommy and daddy have been pouring water on my face every time they give me a bath.  Lately I noticed that they must be using a bigger cup or something because I'm having to hold my breath a longer time!

I loved the first time we went in the pool, even though the water was cold at first!  Mommy held me and I played with my bath toys and she poured water on my face just like in the tub.  I also practiced floating on my back, but I don't like that!! 

 They put my legs into a floaty and I liked the feeling of not being held but only for a little while.  I like it better when they play with me.
I love going to the pool but was so surprised when I found myself under the water!  What was that!  I choked for a second.  Wow!  Now I had to be more careful of what was going on.  Were they going to do that again?

This time I heard the signal for the water - I didn't hear it before!  I was ready when I was put under the water but I still sputtered some.  I guess I better learn to like it if it's going to keep on happening.  What she's going to put me under ten times!  Wow!  I'm getting so good now, I can tell, and am ready!

Soon she is gliding me to her.  I could see her under there!  How cool is that!

I like kicking and digging, splashing with my arms and legs and especially splashing my mimi in the face because she makes funny noises and blows bubbles when I do that.
I'm getting used to it now.  Wait, she's holding me under the water longer now and I want to breathe but I know that I can't.  I guess that I'll have to get used to that too.  
My daddy is a little bit nervous about me going under water but he loves me so much and wants me to be water safe.  He wants me to love the water and swim like he does.
Oh but this is fun, I see my daddy and I'm swimming to him now!
Is this what it's all about?

What else can I learn?