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Let's Go Swimming

The swimming pools have opened -- YAY! -- and we spent a fair amount of time in a few of them over the weekend.

I spent a significant amount of my childhood in pools and have always insisted that my kids be in the water at early ages to be comfortable there, even starting swim lessons way earlier than recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Once a week, I take them, sometimes alone, sometimes with my husband, to play for several hours. My summer camp choices are mainly based on how much pool time the kids will have.

So, just how safe are pools for kids? And with camp approaching, how safe will they be while in the care of camp counselors?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that about 260 children under the age of 5 drown each year and that more than 2,700 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for injuries related to pool submersions.

According to a Canadian poll, most parents in that country believe swim lessons are the best protection for keeping kids safe in the pool. Not so, says Safe Kids Canada executive director Allyson Hewitt. "It's just really dangerous for parents to think that children, because they've taken a few swimming lessons, are going to be safe in the pool by themselves."

The organization reports that 42 percent of drownings of kids ages 5 to 14 in the last decade were kids who were unsupervised by an adult.

Safe Kids Canada offers several pool safety tips including supervising and staying within reach of your child in the pool, learning first aid and CPR and putting life jackets on young and weak swimmers.

How do you handle pool safety? Do you rely on the swim lessons and lifeguards or do you keep your guard up and eyes on all kids at all times?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  May 31, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
Previous: Kindergarten's Not Just Play Anymore | Next: The Debate: The Allison Stokke Story

Comments


I'd love to get a recommendation for a private swin instructor for my son. we live on capitol hill-- he is almost four. I rarely spend time in the community pool-- Ii spent hardly any time in the pool as a youth and I really wish my parents had had the resources to provide that to me. It is a great life skill!

Posted by: Jen S. | May 31, 2007 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Don't rely on the lifeguards alone. I feel like until my kids can swim a length of the pool unassisted, I still need to be in the water, in a bathing suit, close by and watching them when they're swimming. Ask the other moms you know -- everyone has a horror story about the time she looked away 'just for a minute'.

On the subject of camps, here's an interesting tip: go to google and type in the name of the camp and the words myspace. With any luck, what you'll get is myspace pages made by the counselors. It's WAY more information about the camp then you will ever get by reading a brochure. (which counselors like drugs, which counselors like boys, which counselors like to use profanity.) I wish I had known about this tip BEFORE I sent my kids to a certain camp. (And don't send them to a camp that isn't accredited by the American Association of Camps. They have a website and it's easy to check if your camp is accredited.)

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 31, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

"The organization reports that 42 percent of drownings of kids ages 5 to 14 in the last decade were kids who were unsupervised by an adult"

So that means 58% of those who drown were supervised by an adult. The statistic as stated tells us that unsupervised kids are safer.

I'm sure the assumption is that more children are supervised than not, but that information isn't given rendering the stated statistic, at best, useless.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Armchair Mom, until the children can swim the length of the pool or at least tread water for a minute I'm in the pool with the children. My daughter wanted to jump off the diving board at age 4 and before she could go, my husband made her swim one lap to show us she was able.

That said, my children are very comfortable in the water and I think it is because they had swimming lessons since they were 2 or 3 (at that age, it's an activity to do with Mom or Dad, not really learning how to swim).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 8:15 AM | Report abuse

We belong to a community pool. The rule is, under 10 must have an adult at the pool. So, since mine are 9 and 6, me or DH is always there.

But, last summer, my youngest learned how to tread water and swim the lap, so for the first time I could sit on the side and watch!

This summer, all six days so far, they have both been too busy with friends to even want me in the pool with them. Which is good because the water is still WAY too cold for me! My DH is a different story, since he can still lift the kids to throw them.


Posted by: prarie dog | May 31, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"The organization reports that 42 percent of drownings of kids ages 5 to 14 in the last decade were kids who were unsupervised by an adult"

So that means 58% of those who drown were supervised by an adult. The statistic as stated tells us that unsupervised kids are safer.


Good point. It's not enough to supervise. You have to recognize when a child might be in trouble and know what to do.

Posted by: worf | May 31, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised last summer how many parents considered the 2 life guards at our neighborhood pool to be their kids' sitters. In one case the pool was full and the parent was out of the pool reading or chatting on the phone. The kids were maybe 5 & 7 and NOT able to swim. I was shocked!

With a 3 & 5 yo I am always in the pool with them and close enough to be able to at least jump and reach them. I agree the swimming a lap is a good test. Maybe in a few years!

Posted by: Burke Mom | May 31, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

My kids are 5 and under so I am in the pool with them. My oldest will start his first swim lessons in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure at what age I would feel comfortable letting them swim without being in the pool with them. I imagine that they will be at least 8 and even then I will be still watch them myself. I don't have much confidence in the lifeguards at our community pool.

Posted by: Momto3 | May 31, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I would be interested in hearing what kind of ground-rules parents set down in order for a nanny or other care-giver to take their child to the community pool. We have a toddler.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Last summer I had just started getting (too) comfortable with my 4 & 3 year old in the shallow end of the pool. It was shallow enough that they could stand, and they could were doing such a good job holding their breath under water and swimming around. But then that horrible story hit of the 7 year-old drowning while supervised at a swim lesson. That really dramatically changed my view of how much to trust their ability to stay safe. Now, literally, I spot check all 3 kids at least every 30 seconds. And I know that if I'm feeling relaxed at the pool, I'm not doing my job to keep those kids safe. But my question is...how do you know when you can trust your kids alone in the pool?

Posted by: Mel mom | May 31, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm with those of you who say the child must be able to swim the length of the pool and tread water before I'll get out. We pretty much hit that mark by last summer, and I am hoping to swim slow laps myself this summer in between reading (I am already collecting books to read at the pool). My kids are 8 and 5 (will be 6 in 5 weeks). Both are strong swimmers, can dive as well as they need to (better than me, which is not at all), and can tread water if they have to, but would never do it unless I make them. I spent a lot of time last summer making the younger one swim across the pool. I wanted her to know that she can do it.

But even though I hope to swim laps and read (not at the same time), I know that I will still have to keep an eye on my kids. Lifeguards are barely more than kids themselves, and some are better than others. I've seen one lifeguard who thought it was okay to sit at the side of the pool with his girlfriend, eating fried chicken, while on duty. When it was his time to sit in the lifeguard chair, he would presumably watch. The pool manager was a college student who, I assume, didn't know how to handle it. I've seen lifeguards in the chair with their eyes closed. When I was a child, a neighbor was diving off the side of the pool within 3 feet of the lifeguard. He did this 8 or 10 times in a row. Finally, he hit his head on the side of the pool. His sister noticed that he didn't come up, and lifted him up. She said something to the lifeguard about the situation, and the response was, "well, he shouldn't have been diving there anyway."

I'm not sure how I would feel about my kids going to the pool with their day camp. When I have, as a child care teacher, taken kids to the pool, I never stopped counting the kids to make sure I could locate all of them. I mean, as soon as I counted the last one, I started over again. All the other staff members thought I was nuts, but I didn't want to take a chance on losing anybody.

Posted by: another Burke Mom | May 31, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

This is a really interesting topic! My DD is 18 months, so of course I'm in the water, with my hands on her, every second that she's in the pool. But I've taken DD to the pool half a dozen times this year, and I'm always the only parent in the pool. The trend here seems to be to put a life preserver on the little ones (3 and over -- nobody else had a small toddler there), then let them play while mom or dad supervised from a beach chair. Last weekend, we saw a family with kids around 6 and 8 reading the paper while the kids played.

I'll admit all of these options sound tempting to me, strictly from a relaxation standpoint. I'd ben thinking that in two year, I'd be poolside while DD (who'd be almost 4) played. But that was before I read the drowning statistics. Now I'm not sure how we'll deal with giving her more independence.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 31, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

There is a real danger in using lifejackets, etc on young and weak swimmers. These devices often give children false confidence in their swimming abilities and the children later over-estimate their abilities when they aren't wearing their aids, often when they're not they aren't with an adult either. There is no substitute for an adult in the water with the child when it comes to young and weak swimmers.

Posted by: former lifeguard | May 31, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I am on the cautious side, but I wouldn't let a nanny take a toddler to the pool. The risk is just too great, compared to whatever benefit it might give. There is a vigilance and commitment to the child unique to a parent -- it comes from somewhere down in the heart, rather than the brain. And the problem with pools is that it literally takes only few seconds of distraction for an accident to happen -- there isn't the same warning time as in other situations.

Posted by: Fairfax Dad | May 31, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I plan on being in the water with my daughter. She doesn't seem to have the attention span for lessons yet but has no fear of the water. She enjoys it too much. But you can't be too careful. There was a 7 year old who died last summer at the Jewish day camp in DC area. There were 5 kids to one adult and the kid still drowned. I think these camps do not have enough adults to watch kids. There was one camp that had 4 3 year olds in the pool with one adult. Are you nuts? I can't believe they would put 4 3 year olds who have never had lessons in a pool with one adult.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 31, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

As a former lifeguard I just wanted to beg parents to pay attention to their kids at the pool. As lifeguards we do everything we can, but we can only stop behaviors which are against the rules, or tangibly unsafe. As parents you can impose much stricter controls. Also, as parents you are watching 1,2 or at most 3 kids, while as lifeguards we are responsible for everyone in the pool enclosure. Rules requiring parents to accompany children under a certain age to the pool are not there so that you can read your book in a lounge chair while your children play as if you were back at the house.

Posted by: Former Lifeguard | May 31, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm with all the other parents. Never let the lifeguard be in charge of watching your kids. They're you're back-up. This is even more true of going to the beach. Always, take your kids to a beach where there are lifeguards present and never expect the lifeguard to watch your kids for you. If they're little they should be within reach, if they're older you should have your eyes on them at all times. Leave the books and alcohol at home.

As the kids get older they are still in danger. That's because the kids will start doing stupid things like horsing off at the pool or taking their boogie boards out too far at the beach. A few years back we had a situation where the kids on their boogie boards had drifted into a current and my husband was on his board where he was supposed to be. I was on the beach screaming at them to come in and getting my husband's attention when the lifeguard came up from behind me and dove into the water. He grabbed one kid and my husband got the other. It is our only time we've ever had to rely on a lifeguard. I'm glad he was there.

Posted by: free bird | May 31, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree that lifeguards are really a last resort. I think the lifeguards at our pool are fine - young, but fine. They rotate often, if they are on the chair they don't chit chat, they keep the kids in line. However, in my opinion, they aren't there to babysit my kids. They are the last resort, and hopefully will never need them.

A friend of mine came to our pool and was upset that they weren't watching her not-so-strong-swimmer child close enough. In my opinion, if she didn't trust him in the deep end, he shouldn't have been there.

Posted by: prarie dog | May 31, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to the story about the boy who drowned at the JCC last year: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/13/AR2006071300719.html

It's one that I hear mentioned a lot and the circumstances never made sense to me, particularly because the child was in a swim class when the drowning occurred.

Maybe I'm being unfair to the JCC, but when I considered camps in this area, I took this into consideration and ruled out even checking out the JCC pool.

For the question about nannies taking kids to the pool, I do allow mine to take the boys. I think it's an individual choice, and one that's very much based on the type of nanny you employ. Have you seen the nanny interact with the child in water? Have you seen her swimming abilities? Does she seem more interested in being social than watching the kids at the pool or is she focused entirely on the kids? Knowing those answers can help inform your decision.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | May 31, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I agree - in the pool until they can swim the length of the pool and tread water. I don't care how many swim sessions an under 7 has had -- they need supervision. They're little and can tire easily or get a mouthful of water.

After that until they are 12 you need to be there keeping an eye on them.

At the beach you have to do a buddy system. That "pool" is too big for just one lifeguard!

I love to go to the pool on summer week nights. Everybody sleeps well after that.

Posted by: RoseG | May 31, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I would be interested in hearing what kind of ground-rules parents set down in order for a nanny or other care-giver to take their child to the community pool. We have a toddler.

Posted by: | May 31, 2007 09:44 AM

My kids are 3.5 and 5.5. Our nanny only takes the kids to the pool when our next door neighbor(23 year old former lifeguard) can go with her. That way the ratio is 1 to 1. My kids are too young, and not good enough swimmers to have the ratio 2 to 1 in the grown up pool. If they want to be in the baby pool, the nanny can take them by herself. I dont really have any groundrules that I set up because they just started going to the pool last year with the nanny and next door neighbor. So this is a very timely issue for us. I think the answers depend on the age of the kids, swimming strength of the kids and nanny (ours was a former lifeguard), the number of kids at the pool, etc.

Posted by: Marie | May 31, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Jen S.: Here's the word from a friend who lives on Capitol Hill.

The folks who teach swimming at the William H. Rumsey Aquatic Center over by Eastern Market do private lessons as well as group lessons. There's a guy named James who does private as well as group lessons. The group lessons fill up fast, though there is a class coming up that's a parent-child class for ages 2-4 years, 11 months.

Here's a link: http://dpr.dc.gov/dpr/site/default.asp?dprNav=|

There's also Cheverly Pool and Racquet Club about 15 minutes from Capitol Hill, but it's a members-only deal with a huge waiting list. It is filled with Capitol Hill families. ... It is a really nice pool with something for all ages and swimming abilities. If you're interested, you should get on the waiting list for next summer or the next.

Here's a link:
http://www.cheverlypool.com/content/

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | May 31, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

IMHO, Parents who relegate the responsibility of supervising their children to lifeguards should be charged with neglect. You can "chit-chat" with the other parents at another social gathering - your attention should be on your child!

Posted by: DadofTwo | May 31, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Our 6-year-old can swim a length and go off the diving board, but I always go in the pool with her or sit on the side with the baby and insist that she stay close to where I am. The lifeguards at the pool we frequent have failed to notice dozens of preschoolers 'going under' in the preschool pool; thank goodness the parents are very attentive. I wouldn't trust the lifeguards to watch my kids for even 1 minute.

Posted by: dc | May 31, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Growing up in Florida, I am extremely strong swimmer and never had any fear of the water. DD grew up in Arkansas, and swims OK (but didn't learn until she was 10 or so). I'd trust her to swim in water no deeper than about six feet with me out of the pool, and deeper if I'm in close distance and in the pool with her. The one I worry about is my partner - she learned after 40 to swim, nearly drowned as a child, and I wouldn't trust her in water over her head! Parents need to be safe swimmers before they try to take their little ones in the water - it doesn't matter if you're in your suit, in the water with them if you can't swim across the width of the shallow end to get them!

Posted by: Rebecca in AR | May 31, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

A common situation, especially with private pool parties, is that all the adults are near the pool while all the kids are in the pool. The assumption is that everyone is watching, while in reality, no one is watching. If you have a pool party, its a good idea to rotate shifts through the adults, with at least one adult set as a designated pool watcher at all times. That person should not socialize during their shift.

Posted by: RT | May 31, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

>
--What's wrong with that? It sound like a relatively small group to keep watch over. There are plently of mothers with 3 or 4 kids who watch over their nonswimmer children in the pool. I have a friend who have 3 young children and neither of them can swim. That doesn't stop her from taking her children to the pool every summer. Not to mention, I grew up with a brother and sister and none of us knew how to swim until we were about 10 years old. My mom was still able to watch over the 3 of us carefully until we learned how to swim.

Posted by: Soguns1 | May 31, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

My previous response was to foamgnome which she said, "There was one camp that had 4 3 year olds in the pool with one adult. Are you nuts? I can't believe they would put 4 3 year olds who have never had lessons in a pool with one adult."

Posted by: Soguns1 | May 31, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"Not to mention, I grew up with a brother and sister and none of us knew how to swim until we were about 10 years old. My mom was still able to watch over the 3 of us carefully until we learned how to swim."

Why 10 years old? Weird.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I can't believe they would put 4 3 year olds who have never had lessons in a pool with one adult."

Surely by the time someone is 43 years old, they ought to be able to watch out for themselves, even if they can't swim.

Posted by: Tom T. | May 31, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"Surely by the time someone is 43 years old, they ought to be able to watch out for themselves, even if they can't swim."

ANS couldn't watch out for herself.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I believe the cited statistics are being misinterpreted - or at least placed in a misleading context.

Looking at the actual CPSC study...The drowning deaths of these toddlers in most cases has nothing to do with "swimming". These are mostly kids who wandered into the backyard and fell into the pool. Almost all of these deaths (98%) are not at lifeguard stationed community pools, but homeowners' residential backyard pools. "Supervised" means these kids were in the house with mommy or daddy and then wandered off, fell in the pool, and died.

Of course it's important to monitor your younger child when swimming is the intent, but more important is to have a childproof gate around your pool, or know what the situation is at your friend's houses.

The way the facts are presented here makes it seem like kids are just going under left and right at the swim club.

Posted by: context | May 31, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"The way the facts are presented here makes it seem like kids are just going under left and right at the swim club. "

No. The kids are going under usually at home under their PARENTS' SUPERVISION!!!!

Posted by: Bozo | May 31, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

My siblings and I were not allowed in the "grownup" pool until we'd had swimming lessons and could do dogpaddle, breaststroke, and freestyle competently, as well as swim 10 feet underwater. We were able to accomplish this by the time we were about 7 yo. At that time, we were allowed in the shallow end of the grownup pool. My mom usually stayed on dry land but wore a swimsuit and wrap in case she was needed. She didn't read but my other friend's mom did. Crazy horseplay such as diving in headfirst or running at poolside was not allowed. However, while in the pool, we were allowed to do underwater rolls etc. We weren't allowed in the deep end until we were 14 and we were NEVER allowed on or around the diving boards. I thought that was kind of unnecessary, but eventually I realised I mostly went to the pool to hang out so me and my girlfriends would stand in the shallow end talking about boys and trying to get a tan!

Personally, once your child can swim reasonably well, it seems to me safest for the parent to be on the outside of the pool, so they be up higher and can scan the area better. Nonswimming kids should only be in a toddler pool in my opinion.

Posted by: m | May 31, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"No. The kids are going under usually at home under their PARENTS' SUPERVISION!!!!"

That's what I'm saying. Most of the comments are about rules around swimming. Most of the deaths have nothing to do with "a day at the pool".

Posted by: context | May 31, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Another former lifeguard here. On a hot day in the summer, I might have been watching 60 people in my area from the chair. Even with a constant scan and 100% alertness, I could not possibly keep a close eye on every child.
That said, I made a number of rescues and in several cases, the parent was at the poolside, supposedly watching the child, but in fact yakking away. At least one parent promptly starting yelling at the child for falling in.

Posted by: Olney | May 31, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

That was four three year olds. Not a 43 year old person. It is not a small group in the water situation. Again, look at the example at JCC where a 7 year old in a group of five kids to one adult drowned last year. Also most mothers do not have 3 or 4 children the same age and same swimming ability. Even on dry land, most day cares limit care to 4 children to one adult. In the water it is even more dangerous.

Posted by: foamgnome | May 31, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

thanks Stacey! we'll look into it!

Posted by: Jen S. | May 31, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Great comment, my mother insisted we learn to swim very early and I can't remember a time not knowing how. Until I got older, pretty much every summer day and night was spent hanging at the pool. (I even have a famous escape story with me heading to the pool)

So lessons, yes, early, and then totally supervised all the time. Of course I realize now why my mom LOVED going in the pool during the "adults time."

Posted by: Liz D | May 31, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

My mother hated the water and never went to a pool or a lake but I was at one or the other almost every day of summer and even rode my bike the 3 miles to the pool by myself. I never had swim lessons but I must be part fish because I just seemed to naturally take to it. While some parents seem to be a little lax on supervision (i.e. the missing 4 year old in Europe right now because the parents left her in the hotel room with her twin 2 year old siblings alone to go to dinner!?) I think there is probably a lot of over protecting going on limiting kids learning to be self sufficient.

Also, I'm very lucky to have a child who has been swimming since 4 (now 7) who can't think of a better place to be than at the pool while she has a friend who won't let go of her parents near the water.

Posted by: Shauna | May 31, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Even on dry land, most day cares limit care to 4 children to one adult. In the water it is even more dangerous."

Foamgnome, the ratio for 2 and 3 year olds on Virginia is 1 adult for every 10 (ten) children (on dry land). For four year olds, it is one adult for twelve children, and for five year olds, one to 15 children. I'm sure fewer children per adult are required for pool play, but not fewer than four to one.

And my children have been in group swim lessons with 10-12 children to one adult. I didn't think they would learn anything, but they did. But safety wasn't as much of a concern because every child had a parent there who was watching for safety. Later I learned that the lifeguards charge the same fee for private lessons that they do for group lessons, so that was the end of group lessons.

Posted by: child care ratios | May 31, 2007 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget ponds. Headline on AOL is a babysitter (18) put two toddlers down for a nap and she took one herself. They woke up before the babysitter and ended up drowning in the pond.

Posted by: Odenton, MD | June 1, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Also a former lifeguard and swimming instructor here, and I second the need for parental supervision at a pool, particularly a crowded one. I used to teach the basics of swimming and water safety to young children (3-6 years). One of the exercises we did was to teach them how to jump in the water, kick their feet to come to the surface, and then turn around and grab the side of the pool. Not a tough one, but we did it every lesson, several times, and it meant the motion became almost instinctive; if they fell in, or slipped while hopping into the water (generally when kids who are even proficient swimmers have trouble), they'd kick to the top and turn and grab the side before they had a chance to panic, giving us the extra few seconds to hop in and get them.

Posted by: Rhi | June 1, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I've a feeling the conversion of "4 3 year olds" to a "43 year old" was meant to be tongue in cheek.

Posted by: Paul | June 1, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Parents are responsible for their own children, bottom line, not lifeguards! Consider that most guards are teenagers and also often understaffed.
While swim lessons are necessary, putting them on a swim team will do the finishing touch ensuring endurance and correct swimming skills that will go a long way towards your mental peace. Even after they are proven swimmers you should still supervise unless you can forgive yourself if, God forbid, the worst happens. One last thing- don't rely on their friends that you bring to the pool with you, telling you that they are good swimmers; make them prove it to you because after all, you are also responsible for their friends' safety!

Posted by: Connie | June 1, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I grew up swimming - my first memory is actually in a pool and I was still wearing a diaper (a thought that now makes me wonder why kids in diapers are allowed in pools...E. Coli?!) I've been absolutely shocked how few people - even athletic adults - know how to swim here. This summer I'll be taking care of my future 8-year-old stepson and pool time will be a big thing for us. I'm glad to read these comments about making sure he can swim the length of the pool (I just figured he'd be able to! Now I'll check!) before leaving the water with him still in it! Something tells me a swimming lesson or two will be top priority early on this summer!

Posted by: FutureStep | June 1, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

What's so wierd about learning how to swim at 10 years old, 12:21 PM? It may be a little later than the average children in a suburban area, but in my early childhood, I was raised around blacks in D.C. There is nothing wierd with not learning how to swim until 10. And actually, I was 11.

"And my children have been in group swim lessons with 10-12 children to one adult."
--Good point. Foamgnome, please check your facts. There is nothing wrong nor odd about a camp instructor in the pool with four or five nonswimmer 4 year olds.

"Looking at the actual CPSC study...The drowning deaths of these toddlers in most cases has nothing to do with "swimming". These are mostly kids who wandered into the backyard and fell into the pool."
--Good point. Not to mention, I believe the number one reason for drowning for children under 2, is drowning in the tub because the parent left the child unattended.


Posted by: Soguns1 | June 1, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, I stand corrected. In my day care there are five adults to 12 children. And the ratio for infants is 2 infants to one adult. All I know is that 7 year old died in a group of five children to one adult. So I guess it is parents beware. I know I will be attending any swimming lesson my daughter goes to at that age.

Posted by: foamgnome | June 4, 2007 7:13 AM | Report abuse

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