Summer is just around the corner and that means lots of kids participating in a ton of fun, water related activities including those we offer here at Camp Crosley. From paddling kayaks around Little Tippy to zooming down the Wet Willie water slide in our new H2Whoa Zone, kids come to camp to get wet, but our number one priority in the water as in every place else at camp is safety.
There are a host of reasons to take swim lessons – from bonding with your baby as a new parent to encouraging a child to pursue a future in competitive swimming, but the most important reason to get your child, or yourself for that matter, into a swim lesson program pronto is safety.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that from 2005-2009 there was an average of 3,533 unintentional drownings. Of these drownings, one in five involved a child under 14. Most drownings are preventable and the number one thing we as adults can do for our children, and the children of our communities, is to get them into swim lessons and water safety courses.
The YMCA offers a Safety in the Water program that in eight, 40 minute lessons teaches kids to become acclimated around and in the water. There are also preschool programs as well as the Y’s progressive swim lesson program from Polliwogs up to Sharks. If you are an adult, don’t be embarrassed or afraid to get in on the action. It’s never too late to learn to swim and most Ys offer adult swim classes or private lessons.
Learning to swim not only keeps kids safe, it also boosts self confidence, adds another physical activity choice to their “sports plate” as well as gives them a life long skill that will they can keep doing well into their senior years. It also opens up the world of swimming-related activities to include, surfing, snorkeling and SCUBA. Soccer is great and gymnastics provide wonderful learning opportunities, but let’s be honest. Most of us won’t be on that balance beam at 80. However, if we’re lucky, we can still be in the pool swimming laps well past the time we can run ½ marathons and spike a volleyball.
What’s your excuse? If you or your children don’t know how to swim, please contact your local Y or another reputable swim program and sign up today. The rewards of learning can be lifesaving.