As the weather warms up and water activities become more prevalent, it’s important to remember that water-related accidents can happen at any time of the year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause for children ages 5-14.
Cristina Alvarado, the Director of Programming at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center, stresses that water safety education and year-round programs are crucial to ensure that children and adults have the skills to navigate and survive in water.
She emphasizes that swim lessons are just one part of water safety, “It is about layers of protection. Designate a water watcher, ask questions about camp water safety policies, and help your child learn to swim”, says Alvarado. She believes year-round swim lesson programs are critical for individuals to learn and practice safe swimming skills.
Many children attend camps in the summer and parents are not always aware of the dangers associated with improper camp safety. Knowing how to be safe in the water is a large part of keeping your child safe at camp. By participating in year-round programs, individuals can reap these benefits while learning essential safety skills before they need them.
Alvarado advises individuals to start by taking swim lessons and mastering basic skills. From there, they can continue to build their skills, knowledge, and confidence by taking more advanced lessons, learning CPR and rescue skills, and educating themselves about water safety rules and guidelines. The American Red Cross offers many programs for people to learn CPR and basic water rescue skills which can make all the difference in an emergency.
Arming your child with basic water safety supports their well-being and builds on the supervision available while participating in camps and other aquatic activities. Year-round water safety programs can educate individuals about these risks and guide how to stay safe during these activities.
In addition to being a life-saving skill, consistent participation in water safety and learn-to-swim programs can improve physical and mental health. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and reduce stress.
The Rose Bowl Aquatic Center is located at 360 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. For more call (626) 564-0330 or visit https://www.rosebowlaquatics.org/