May is National Water Safety Month
As the weather warms, families around the country are looking forward to taking to the water, maybe more than ever before. Pools, beaches, and lakes are announcing plans to reopen. It's an exciting time!
We want every family adventure around the water to be a chance to create memories and enjoy time together. Water safety is a critical first step towards a great experience.
While water safety is always on our minds here at Big Blue, we are proud to recognize May as National Water Safety Month and reflect on the importance of raising awareness and educating families on the risks of drowning and ways to become water safer.
Why Water Safety is Essential
Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in the United States. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Severe brain damage, including long-term memory problems and learning disabilities, can also result from nonfatal drowning accidents in the water.
During the pandemic, backyard pool purchases skyrocketed as families looked for socially distanced forms of entertainment. At the same time, there was also a reduction in formal swim lesson instruction. Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates, and most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. The importance of formal swimming lessons at this time couldn't be more critical.
These are hard statistics to consider, and it's why we are so passionate about our work. Whether your family is opening up your backyard pool again or venturing to a local pool, nearby lake, or beach vacation, it's so important to prepare yourself and your families to be safer near water.
Water Safety Reminders
We've developed a helpful acronym for water safety. Whenever you're around the water with kids, keep our swimming LAPS reminders top of mind:
Lifeguards are not babysitters
Always designate a Water Watcher
Protect yourself and kids by wearing life jackets
Swim with a buddy
Here are some other smart considerations to improving water safety for your family.
Make Pool Areas Safer
A lockable gate, fence, or a high wall, door alarms on your home, and safety pool covers are all ways to add a layer of protection to a residential pool. Consider locking doors that lead to the yard and pool at a beach or lake house when everyone should be indoors. If you are headed to a vacation property or staying with friends or family, ask about their pool safety systems ahead of time.
Even with safety systems in place and lifeguards on duty, adult supervision around water is essential. Always designate an adult in your group as the Water Watcher, someone who keeps a close eye on swimmers, and rotate every 30 minutes to avoid supervision fatigue.
A drowning incident isn't always obvious. Someone struggling in the water may not yell for help, wave their arms, or thrash around. It can happen in under a minute and be a deceptively silent event. That's why, even if your child is a proficient swimmer, wearing a life jacket, or swimming with friends, it's critical to always, always provide constant, careful supervision. Remember your LAPS!
Consider learning or re-certifying in CPR. Every second counts during a drowning or near-drowning incident, and your CPR skills could save someone's life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.
Start Your Child in Swim Lessons
Swimming skills can help prevent tragedy. Formal kids swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. We start our baby swim class as young as three-months-old at Big Blue to begin building a lifetime of water safety from an early age.
Big Blue Goes Above and Beyond
From the quality of our program to the individualized preparation your child gets to swim independently beyond our walls, safety is always top of mind at Big Blue.
We teach floating, safety swimming, and ensuring kids can swim farther and farther distances to get them to safety. Continuous, weekly lessons ensure skill development, growing confidence, and endurance building happen year-round.
Professional instructors and a curriculum developed by world-class swimmers are foundational components of our swim school and set Big Blue apart from other programs.
Expansive COVID-19 Protocols
At all of our locations, we continually monitor both CDC guidelines and state and local regulations. We’ve also instituted enhanced cleaning on high touch surfaces.
Our staff have suitable PPE available and have their temperatures checked before entering each day. Enhanced paid sick leave is also available.
Our app makes it simple to perform a self check-in screening or re-schedule a lesson if anyone in your family isn’t feeling well.
All Big Blue locations are set up to ensure social distancing and good hygiene are easy to practice.
Learn more about health and safety at Big Blue.
The Return of Summer Swim Season
Like many of you, we are eager to get outside and get back into the water this summer. Keeping children safer in and around the water is the first step to enjoying time at the pool, beach, lake, and more.
Our program is designed to help children swim longer and longer distances, confidently and independently. A life-long love of swimming, family fun around the water, and a safe experience all start with these foundational skills.
Big Blue is proud to have continued to safely serve families during the pandemic. We look forward to helping even more families celebrate a safe return to the water this summer.
We’d love to welcome your family into the pool at Big Blue. Want to try a free trial swim lesson? Learn more here.