Goldfish Swim School announced new drowning prevention guidelines

//Goldfish Swim School announced new drowning prevention guidelines

As our exclusive swim school partner of choice, theCityMoms turn to Goldfish Swim School for all swimming-related news, skills and more. We were thrilled to learn from them this week that the American Academy of Pediatrics announced its updated it drowning prevention guidelines for children. Their press release follows below:


Drowning can be silent and quick, and it kills nearly 1,000 children every year. To refocus the attention of parents and physicians on one of the leading causes of death among children, the American Academy of Pediatrics is publishing updated recommendations on water safety.

“Drowning is the single leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4,” said Sarah Denny, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, “Prevention of Drowning” published online March 15, 2019, in Pediatrics. “Many of these deaths occur when children are not expected to be swimming or when they have unanticipated access to water. Toddlers are naturally curious; that’s why we must implement other strategies, such as pool fencing and door locks.”

Goldfish Swim School drowning prevention guidelines - theCityMoms

The second age group at highest risk of drowning deaths is teens, said Dr. Denny.

Every year, about 370 children ages 10 to 19 drown. “Adolescents can be overconfident in their swimming abilities, and are more likely to combine alcohol use with swimming – compounding their risk significantly. Children of color, especially African American teens are especially at risk.”

In the policy statement, the AAP lays out strategies to protect children at each stage of their life. New parents are advised to be vigilant at bath time and to empty all buckets and wading pools immediately. All children should learn to swim, and children and teens should wear life jackets while near open bodies of water. Teens can learn CPR and other water safety skills.

Injury prevention has long been a priority of pediatricians, and public health initiatives over the past 50 years have led to dramatic reductions in deaths from injuries related to motor vehicle crashes, sudden infant death syndrome, drowning, and other unintentional injuries. In the past few years, however, the rate of decline in these deaths has slowed.

Drowning remains the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 5-19 years.

In 2017, nearly 1,000 children died from drowning and 8,700 visited a hospital emergency room because of a drowning event – with toddlers and teens at the highest risk.

The topic will be the subject of a panel presentation March 16, when leaders of the AAP will gather in Itasca, Ill., for an annual leadership conference. Family advocates, including Nicole and Jonathan Hughes, and Bode Miller, will share their experiences of losing a child to drowning. The panel will also include Sam Hanke, MD, FAAP, who lost his son to sudden infant death, and parent Greg Schell, chair of the AAP Family Partnerships Network. The panel will address recent trends in preventable child injuries, and how pediatricians can work with families to improve child health.


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“We appreciate the chance to partner with these families, who have decided to channel their grief to help other parents prevent a similar tragedy. It is critically important for us to collaborate with families and communities to protect kids from drowning” said Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP, Chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention. “Pediatricians should be talking about water safety routinely during well-child visits. But having families share their personal stories, we hope, will help connect with parents who may think it could ‘never happen’ to them. Tragically, it can happen to anyone.” 

AAP will also publish new information for families on its website for parents, HealthyChildren.org, including water safety advice based on children’s developmental stages, and recommendations on choosing a good learn-to-swim program.

“Research has found that swim lessons are beneficial for children starting around age 1, and may lower drowning rates”, said Linda Quan, MD, FAAP, a co-author of the policy statement. 

“Learning to swim is a great family activity,” said Dr. Quan. “Families can talk with their pediatrician about whether their child is developmentally ready for swim lessons, and then look for a program that has experienced, well-trained instructors. Ideally, programs should teach ‘water competency’ too – the ability to get out of the water if your child ends up in the water unexpectedly.”

Even the best swim lessons cannot “drown-proof” a child, and so AAP strongly recommends parents take steps that make a child’s environment safer. For homes with a pool, the most important safety measure is a 4-sided fence that completely surrounds the pool and isolates if from the house. 

AAP also recommends:

  • Parents and caregivers should never leave children alone or in the care of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas, or other open water.
  • Adults should empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use.
  • Do not leave young children alone in the bathroom. Toilet locks can prevent drowning of toddlers.
  • When infants or toddlers are in or around the water, a supervising adult with swimming skills should be within an arm’s length, providing constant “touch supervision.”
  • Even with older children and better swimmers, the supervising adult should focus on the child and not be engaged with other distracting activities.

“Water is everywhere, and we need multiple layers to protect children from the deadly risks it poses,” said Dr. Quan. “As pediatricians, we cannot overlook this risk. Pediatricians can help by counseling families and working in their communities to improve safety, especially around pools, lakes and in boating communities.” 

Goldfish Swim School water safety day - theCityMoms

From Andrew Joseph – owner of Goldfish Swim Schools in Indianapolis! – here are a few additional water safety tips:

      W– Wear Your Life Jacket: This is one of the easiest ways to increase safety in the water. There are plenty of different types of life jackets to fit all sizes – pay attention to proper fit.

·      A– Act. Throw! Don’t go:Do your kids know what to do in a swimming emergency? They should ACT! Their first instinct may be to go towards the person having trouble in the water. Instead, they should throw a life preserver – and don’t go! That way, they aren’t putting themselves in jeopardy as well and are truly able to help.

·      T– Take Swim Lessons: You can start your child in swim lessons as early as four months old where they can begin learning swim and safety skills while building character through guided play.

·      E– Educate. Learn Swim Safety Skills: Key water safety skills can go a long way – such as the crab walk, properly getting in and out of the pool, going under water, rolling on their back, treading water, learning different strokes.

·      R– Respect. Play it Cool and Follow the Rules: Rules are there for a reason, especially when it comes to rules for the pool. Walk, don’t run; make sure an adult is watching; no horseplay. Review rules together as a family before setting your kids loose to enjoy the water.

MORE INFO: Goldfish Swim School is a premier learn-to-swim facility dedicated entirely to infants and children, ages four months to 12 years. They have two locations in the greater Indianapolis area: 271 Merchants Square Drive in Carmel and 11581 Geist Pavilion Drive in Fishers. Lessons are offered in a child-friendly environment on a family-friendly schedule. Visit goldfishswimschool.com or call {317} 810.0790 for additional details.

2019-04-05T16:13:12-05:00March 20th, 2019|
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