May 3, 2019
May is Water Safety Month
May is Water Safety Month, and while Brownsburg Parks may not have a pool of our own (yet!), we definitely do our best to share the importance of safety on or near water.
One of the ways we do this is by providing Learn to Swim classes each spring and summer. We offer three programs to meet the needs of children from ages 6 months to 12 years. Each program uses the American Red Cross aquatics curriculum. You can register for these programs here.
- Parent & Child Aquatics is for youngsters ages 6 months to 3 years. Mom or Dad gets into the pool and helps his or her child feel comfortable in the water while learning skills like water entry, bubble blowing, front kicking and back floating.
- Preschool Aquatics targest 3-5 year olds. Children experience the pool without parental assistance while learning water entry, bubble blowing, front kicking and back floating skills.
- Learn to Swim classes are for kids 4-12 years old. Along with basic skills, children master recreational and competitive swim strokes at their own pace.
An important part of swim classes for school-age children is the American Red Cross’ Longfellow’s WHALE Tales program. This land-based water safety program is for children ages 5 – 12 and includes the following topics:
o Swim as a Pair Near a Lifeguard’s Chair
o Be Cool, Follow the Rules
o Don’t Just Pack It, Wear Your Jacket
o Look Before You Leap
o Think So You Don’t Sink
o Reach or Throw, Don’t Go
o Think Twice Before Going Near Cold Water or Ice
o Know About Boating Before You Go Floating
o Too Much Sun Is No Fun
o In Your House and in Your Yard, Watch for Water, Be on Guard
o Wave, Tide or Ride, Follow the Guide
Each of these topics is presented in an easy-to learn-format, often using visual teaching aids and simulated situations performed by the swim instructors.
Whenever you plan to visit a pool or waterpark, it’s a good idea to set water safety rules for the family based on each child’s swimming ability. Always research the water environment you are visiting ahead of time to know its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, obstructions, and locations of entry and exit points. Also, use a feet-first entry when getting into a body of water unless the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
It’s never a good idea to swim alone, so please remember to always swim with a buddy! Staying safe in, on and around the water is no accident – it takes deliberate action. Get the right information, bring the right gear and make the right choice every time you visit the water. This will help ensure an enjoyable aquatic experience for everyone!
Mark Callaway, WSI, CPRP