| Who's Really Watching the Water?
We are all aware of the risks that come with neighborhood pools and lakes. We go to great lengths to lock pool gates, secure proper fencing and enroll our children in swim lessons. We also understand that even good swimmers are not drown proof and therefore no child should ever be allowed to swim without adult supervision. But did you know that many drowning accidents happen at pool parties where there are several adults are present? The problem is that everyone assumes that someone else is watching the water and if there is a specific person watching the water, it's not uncommon for that person to suddenly get distracted and leave the pool falsely comforted by the fact that, "I'll just be gone for a few minutes, besides there are a lot of adults around". This is an extremely dangerous situation, because no one is actually paying attention. Children can drown without making a sound, right in the middle of what looks like play to the casual observer.
There is a very simple way to help ensure that this doesn't happen. Assign someone the duty of being the Official Water Watcher. We recommend that this person wear a decorative necklace that indicates that he or she is the Official Water Watcher. This serves as a physical reminder to that person and all others that someone is and should always be watching the water. While wearing this necklace the Official Water Watcher must actively supervise the water. They must give 100% attention to the children in the pool. They should sit or stand where they have a good visual of the entire area and be in arms length of any children who cannot swim. While wearing this necklace, they should not flip through a magazine, talk on their cell phone, or dig through the ice cooler for a cold drink. If they need to leave the area for any reason, they should place the necklace around someone else's neck appointing them the new Official Water Watcher.
You can stop by the front desk and get your FREE Official Water Watcher tag. We only have a limited amount so just one per family please.
Why do some people say it is bad for babies to take swim lessons?
We have (and have had) pediatricians bring their own children to our school for lessons. It is due to our litigious society and the concern for liability that they do not recommend swim lessons for their patients. There is no data that the American Academy of Pediatrics can cite stating that swimming lessons make a child less safe around the water. In fact, the AAP is in the process of rethinking its recommendation about swim lessons.
Researchers at the National Institute of Health report that providing very young children with swim lessons appears to have a protective affect against drowning and does not increase a child's risk of drowning. If you would like to read the press release about this study. Click Here
At Little Otter we want your child to love the water, respect it and understand their own limits. We want them to have as much skill as they do confidence. Never become complacent with your swim abilities no matter how awesome they are. Swim lessons are just one of the many layers of protection that can keep your child safe in the water.