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Water Safety Starts with Water Know-How: What every parent should know to prevent drowning

Water Safety Starts with Water Know-How: What every parent should know to prevent drowning

May is National Water Safety Month. It’s a perfect time to remind families about the risks of drowning with its proximity to summer, but water safety should be top of mind all year long.

Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1-4 and can happen in less than a minute. Severe brain damage including long-term memory problems and learning disabilities can also result from nonfatal drowning accidents in the water.

“Every time we see or hear drowning statistics, it reaffirms how grateful we are to bring Big Blue Swim School to the Mile High city,” said Wendy Skaalerud, owner of Big Blue Swim School Centennial. Wendy and her husband Erik are celebrating the opening of their first swim school this month and have plans to open four additional pools in the region.

“Teaching our kids to be safer near water is one of the most important things we can do as parents,” said Skaalerud. “It’s a mandatory and important life skill and we are very excited to deliver on this mission in our community.”

Most drownings happen during the height of summer swim season from June to August, so now is a great time to remind families what they can do to stay safer near water.  

To prevent tragedy, the Red Cross recommends every family member learn to swim and be able to safely do the following:

  • enter the water
  • get a breath
  • stay afloat
  • change position
  • swim a distance
  • get out of the water

Big Blue Swim School is committed to teaching kids these six skills as part of its unique approach to learning to swim. Skill laddering works to achieve all of the Red Cross’s recommendations for water safety, and more.

It is also important for parents to know what drowning looks like. “Drowning is a deceptively silent event,” said Skaalerud. “A drowning person can’t call for help and wave their arms for attention. It’s important to be able to recognize the silent signs of drowning but most importantly, to always supervise children near water.” 

Big Blue uses a simple acronym for water safety reminders.

Swimming LAPS – to remember water safety tips!

  • Lifeguards are not babysitters
  • Always designate a Water Watcher
  • Protect yourself and kids by wearing life jackets
  • Swim with a buddy

 What else should parents and families know?

Every second counts when someone is drowning so all parents and caregivers should learn CPR especially if they have a pool at home. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, CPR skills could save someone’s life.

Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates and most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. Keep pools safe and know CPR.

During the pandemic, there was a surge of backyard pool purchases and a reduction on swim lesson instructions taking place. It was a perfect storm situation, and that’s why it’s so important to prepare yourself and your families to be safer near water.

Continuous, weekly swim lessons ensure skill development and building confidence in the water, happen year-round.

Drowning statistics are hard to hear, but the good news is that swimming skills will help. Taking part in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning by 88 percent, according to the CDC. “This is why Big Blue encourages parents to start their kids in swim lessons at an early age. We teach children as young as three months old,” said Skaalerud.   

Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning, but even children with formal swimming lessons need constant, careful supervision when in or near water.

Want to get started on a water safety program for your kids? Visit

Family Fun Day

In celebration of their new swim school opening in Centennial, Big Blue Swim School is hosting Family Fun Day on Saturday, May 15, from Noon-4:00PM. Get a first look at our new state-of-the-art swim school while enjoying live entertainment, kids’ activities, giveaways and treats. We’ll be offering socially distanced tours and an outdoor tent for all the fun! This event is FREE and open to the public. Grab your friends & family and meet us there! Big Blue offers weekly, 30-minute swim lessons for children ages 6 months to 12 years to teach them how to be safe, happy, and confident swimmers, all in a comfortable and convenient location.

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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