Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for infants and young children between the ages of 1 and 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learning water safety skills at a young age is crucial, as children are exposed to water every day, no matter where they live.
While swimming can be a fun way to spend the summer, it’s important to remember that swimming can also be dangerous. By talking about water safety at home, you can help your children become lifelong safe swimmers.
Here are some ways you can promote water safety:
- Always have a grown up watching.
- Enter feet first, and never jump if you don’t know how deep the water is.
- Watch the weather. If outdoors, it’s not safe to swim during storms or conditions where storms might be likely.
- Know your surroundings. Make sure to review emergency safe zones, where lifeguards are, and how to exit the body of water safely.
- Use the buddy system. Everything is more fun and safer with a friend!
Water emergencies can happen in a matter of seconds, so it is important for your child to be as equipped as possible. Bear Paddle’s Teddy Bear Program prepares infants and toddlers to perform life-saving skills needed to survive in a water emergency. Kids ages 6 months to 36 months can learn safety and survival swimming skills, comfort, awareness, propulsion and independence. Young swimmers are prepared to survive and recover in the event of a water emergency in all types of water environments, including bathtubs, hot tubs, pools, water parks, lakes, rivers, streams and oceans.
As students demonstrate the ability to perform each skill throughout the levels, they are awarded with skill patches. Before graduating from the Teddy Bear Program, students will perform skills by demonstrating the curriculum with clothes on. Once completed, they will receive a certificate of completion of the Teddy Bear Program.
Beyond the Teddy Bear Program, Bear Paddle also offers swim lessons for older children, including the Paddle Bear Program (ages 3 to 4), Panda Bear (ages 5 to 6), Polar Bear (ages 7 to 10) and Black Bear (ages 11 and beyond).