Raising North Dakota: Swimming Safety

School is out, and how better to beat the heat than a nice swim.
While water play is enjoyable, it can also be stressful for parents to take children swimming.

According to the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, an average of 10 people drowned every day from 2005 to 2014.
One in five people who drown in the U.S. are 14 years old or younger, and children ages 1 through 4 have the highest drowning rates.

That is why it is so important to keep a vigilant eye on your children while swimming.
Aquatic Specialist Jahna Gardiner says getting your kids comfortable in the water as early as infants, and starting lessons at the age of 3 is a good idea.
But, no matter what your child’s swimming ability, there are important factors to keep in mind.

“Drowning is silent, go under can’t come back up, always keep eye on children, put cell and book away and actively watch children, assign a water watcher, somebody that that is their job to do so somebody always keeping eye on kids,” said Jahna Gardiner, aquatic specialist.

In addition to keeping a vigilant eye on your kids while swimming, life jackets are an essential tool.
It’s important to get the correct type and size for your child.
Gardiner says a life jacket is even more important when swimming in lakes or rivers because children tend to sink to the bottom where they are not easily spotted.

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