Common Swimming Misconception #1: Do You Have The Facts?

When it comes to parenting, we all like to think we’re experts, or at the very least, pretty aware of what’s going on. However, when it comes to water safety, there are a lot of common misconceptions that parents entertain.

The Facts:

  • Nearly  800 children drown in the U.S. annually, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.
  • Drowning is the #1 cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, and the #2 cause for children up to age 14, according to the CDC.

Misconception #1: I will hear my child if he/she gets in trouble in the water and starts to drown.

According to a survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, nearly half of the parents surveyed believed this common misconception, but it simply isn’t true. There’s no splashing, no waving, no gasping, no yelling. Drowning looks nothing like Hollywood theatrics. Drowning is silent. You won’t hear it, and you’ll only see it if you’re paying close attention.

One mom recalls the day she nearly missed the silent signs that her 3-year-old daughter was under water while swimming with friends:

“It was supposed to be a fun day at the pool with my youngest two girls, ages 3 years and 2 months. Before long, however, I realized that all of the adults (myself included) were sitting at a table chatting, and no one was specifically watching the kids. I had that ‘mom check’ in my gut, so I got up and went and sat by the side of the pool, 2-month-old in tow. I remember looking up at one point to see my 3-year-old at the other end of the pool. She had taken off her floaties (this was before I put her in swim lessons), but before I could even get the words out to put them back on, she had jumped in the deep end. What I found horrifying as time suddenly seemed to move in slow motion, was that drowning is SILENT. There was no splashing or gasping for air. No ruckus. Just tiny fingertips barely poking out of the top of the water. If I hadn’t had my eyes on her, I never would have known she was under there. She was simply too far away. I felt like I had sandbags on my ankles as I tried to run to her and jump in the water (2-month-old still in my arms). It probably took a total of 10 seconds to get to her, but it was the longest 10 seconds of my life and an experience that I’ll never forget. I encourage parents to remember how easily we can be distracted by conversations, friends, and phones, and to never take your eyes of your precious little ones for even a minute!”

Read more ways to help recognize drowning here.

Aqua-Tots is committed to teaching children worldwide to swim as well as educating parents about the realities of WHY children need to learn as early as possible. We are addressing misconceptions so you, as the parent, have all the facts, and can wear your “Expert” badge proudly!

Contact your local Aqua-Tots Swim School today and enroll your child in year-round lessons as early as 4 months old.