“I mean the number one thing is keep an eye on your child the entire time you’re in the pool,” Corey Belcher said.
According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in kids ages 1 through 4.
Belcher, the aquatics director at Southern Oaks Athletic Club added, “Parents oftentimes take your kids to the pool, bring your families to pool, want to have a good time we want them to have fun. But they think the lifeguards are watching their particular kid. And, in essence we’re watching everyone who’s in the pool at one time.”
The Soule family in Baton Rouge has preached water safety to their three daughters.
“It has been a really big deal for our family to be safe in the water,” mother Emily Soule. “So all three of our girls started young and to see them now in early elementary comfortable in the water and knowing what to do if friend where to fall in and how to help and how not to help.”
9-year old Ella, 8-year old Amy and 6-year old A-V, agree the pool is one of their favorite venues.
“Going swimming with your friends, you get to have fun swimming and learning different strokes.” 9-year old Ella Soule said.
8-year old Amy Soule added, “It’s fun and feels good on a hot day.”
But that safety comes first.
“You have to practice,” 6-year old A.V. Soule said. “So, you can learn better and swim better if you don’t swim. You can drown, drown, drown.”
“That’s kind of what I call a water acclimation period where we get them comfortable in the water, they put their face in, they can blow bubbles, they can learn how to kick and learn how to float, learning how to move small distances.”
The biggest message to families with young swimmers: make safety your priority.
Number one make sure your peers are prepared properly with the proper equipment if you’re going to bring any. Make sure you’re watching your kids the entire time. And follow all pool rules.
You can find additional details on Southern Oaks Athletic Club HERE.
For water-related tips from the CDC, click HERE.