Learn to Swim and Where

By Shannon Randol, intern contributor, American Red Cross

Did you know Texas is ranked number one in the country for pool drownings? Tarrant County is ranked number two in the state. And the statistics haven’t changed for the past few years according to the Fort Worth Drowning Coalition.

The leading cause of death for children under the age of 4 is drowning, and it’s the second leading accidental death for children 14-years-old and younger according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

For every child that drowns, another five receive medical attention for water-related injuries.

Swim lessons can be expensive especially if you have more than one child, but we have a solution for you. The Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition offers swim lessons at a number of locations for only $5!

Safe Swim Schedule:

  • June 16-19, June 23-26 2015 at Westside YMCA 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
  • July 28-31, Aug 4-7 2015 at Southwest YMCA 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
  • Aug 25-28, Sept 1-4 2015 at Marine Park Pool 6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

Cost:

  • $5 for 8 swim lessons

You can register for classes here. Take advantage quick as slots will fill up!
The YMCA’s in both Dallas and Fort Worth also offer special scholarships to those who qualify for swim and fun summer programs. Here are the links for both applications:

THE YMCA CAMP GRADY SPRUCE, DALLAS TEXAS APPLICATION

THE YMCA METROPOLITAN FORT WORTH SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

The Red Cross team has also put together a number of resources and tips to help keep your family safe over the summer. Here are the some quick tips to stay safe:

Water Safety

  • Never leave children unattended near water
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards
  • Never assume someone else is watching your children
  • Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses
  • Stay off of cell phones, give your attention 100 percent to supervising your children
  • Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and first aid kit
  • Enroll in Red Cross first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies

Boating Safety from SafeKids.org:

In 2011, 70 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

  • Have children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats. Make sure life jackets sit snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  • Don’t drink alcohol while operating a boat. A huge number of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption.
  • Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you bring a baby on a boat take extra steps to keep them warm.

Swimming is great exercise and the perfect way to tire out the kiddies during the summer. Take the necessary precautions to insure the safety of your children this summer and each summer to come.

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