the SWIM of things …
safety first on or near the water
Are you sure you know the realities of water safety pertaining to kids? Accidental drowning statistics are grim: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 800 children drown every year. It is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 3, and the second leading cause among kids younger than 15.
Sadly, poor supervision is to blame for most drownings. Nine out of 10 children who have died in the water were being watched by an adult, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a child safety advocacy group. Don’t rely on the lifeguard at your pool: teach your child what he needs to know now.
- No running near the water
- Keep tots within arm’s reach; if you need to leave the pool area, take your child with you
- Tell your child to always tell someone if he’s going swimming
- Never swim alone: Discuss the buddy system and how swimming with someone always keeps us safe
- Don’t rely on the lifeguard. You are in charge of your child when you are near a body of water or a pool
- If boating, make everyone wear a U.S. Coast Guard-certified life vest
teach your children well
enjoy the warm days of spring and summer, but be sure your children know how to swim for safety’s sake. In Middle Tennessee, private swim clubs offer swimming lessons; check with your local pool if you belong to one. Otherwise, there are numerous ways to get your child in the swim of things:
Locate different YMCAs and their swimming programs online at www.ymcamidtn.org …â€¨â€¨In Nashville, Centennial Sportsplex (www.nashville.gov/sportsplex) atâ€¨222 25th Avenue N. offers lessons for ages 3 and older through the Nashville Aquatic Club’s “Swim America” program; callâ€¨516-7711
Vanderbilt Swim Schoolâ€¨(www.vanderbilt.edu/campusrecreation/aquatics/swimschool.html) at 210 S. 26th St. (Memorial Gym) offers lessons for ages 3 – 14; callâ€¨322-SWIM … Inâ€¨Rutherford County, Miss Sue’s Swimming Lessonsâ€¨are taught by a certified Red Cross water safety instructor in Smyrna for ages 6 months and older; call 459-5124
In Murfreesboro, the Department of Parks and Rec (www.murfreesborotn.gov/parks) offers swimming lessons at Patterson Park Community Center (521 Mercury Blvd.) for ages 6 months – 4 years old. Callâ€¨Nikki Witten at 893-7439 for more information
Sports*Com, located at 2310 Memorial Blvd., offers a Swim Academy for ages 5 – 12; call Nate Williams at 895-5040
The Smyrna Towne Center (www.townofsmyrna.org/fitnessfacility/pool.htm) atâ€¨100 Sam Ridley Pkwy. offers swim lessons in June for ages 5 – 12; call 459-9710
Williamson County Parks and Rec (www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov) offers swim lessons for ages 5 – 12 at the Fairview Recreation Center, located atâ€¨2714 Fairview Blvd.; call 799-9331
Franklin Recreation Complex atâ€¨1120 Hillsboro Road offers summer lessons for ages 3 and older; callâ€¨790-5719
Williamson County Indoor Sports Complex, located at 920 Heritage Way in Brentwood, offers lessons for ages 3 years and older; call 370-3471
Middle Tennessee Scuba and Swim (www.mtss.net) offers lessons for ages 3 years and older at 320 Mallory Station Road in Franklin; callâ€¨771-0002
Infant Swimming Resources (www.infantswim.com) provides lessons for babies starting at 7 months old at Middle Tennessee Scuba and Swim; call instructor Kennette Pyles at 309-2166.