ROGERS, Ark. — As the summer heat wave continues, a new report from says Arkansas is ranked 3rd in the nation for the rate of child drownings.
The CDC says every day, there are an average of 11 drowning deaths… and it’s the leading cause of injury death for kids 1 to 4 years old. At Goldfish Swim School in Rogers, instructors value water safety for kids.
“Starting them earlier of course is always better. Getting them used to the water at a young age and conditioning them to be comfortable in the water is very important to us here,” said Jana Kennedy, the general manager of Goldfish Swim School.
The school offers swim lessons starting at four months old all the way up to 12 years old. They teach them not only how to swim but how to be safe around water.
“That’s what we do in our beginner lessons. Teach them wall safety skills because falling in and not being able to get out is the number one reason kids drown,” Kennedy said.
Tabitha Loos is a mother of two girls and works in emergency medicine. She says working with kids who have drowned in the ER is one of the main reasons her kids are in swim lessons.
“It takes like 20 seconds for a kid to drown so I feel like swim lessons is a huge tool and a resource I give my kids for safety,” Loos said.
Her kids have been in swim lessons for three months now and Loos says she now feels more comfortable when her kids are in the water.
“If I can give them a resource or a tool that might potentially save their life… then that is a huge investment and it’s worth it,” Loos said.
According to Goldfish Swim School, 90% of child drownings deaths happen when a caregiver was watching them and 77% of victims had been out of sight for less than five minutes.
“Working with kids who have drowned, it feels like it’s something that is preventable, and it is with swim lessons,” said Kennedy.
Some things parents can do to keep kids safe around water include:
- installing a locked fence around a home pool
- only letting kids swim when adults are there
- if your kids need floaties, only use coast guard approved devices
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