There are few unethical swim schools that promise to keep your child safe from drowning. The truth however, is that there is no such thing as keeping your child safe from drowning.
You can minimise the risks to your child radically. But there is no such thing as drown proofing a child.
There are many steps that you need to take to keep your child safe from drowning.
- Make sure that your pool at home is covered by a net at all times when not in use.
- Make sure that you have a fence around your pool at home with a child proof latch on its gate.
- A pool alarm is a good idea if you can afford it. This will alert you if your child falls into the pool.
- When your pool is in use (even if your child is not swimming, but playing around the pool) make sure that there is competent adult supervision at all times. Leaving the child unsupervised for even 3 minutes is too long.
Enrol your child in a good swim school. One that focusses not just on the different swimming strokes but also on how to survive in a really bad situation in water.
Make sure that your child learns to swim well. Just able to make it across a 6m wide pool will not be sufficient.
Also, in South Africa many children are left alone at home with the nanny. Few people think to ask if the nanny can swim. A nanny who cannot swim cannot keep your child safe from drowning. We came across a horrific incident in which the child in the care of the nanny fell into the swimming pool at home and the nanny ran around the pool frantically, screaming the entire time, but did not manage to save the child since she too could not swim.
Make absolutely sure that your child minder is able to swim. If she cannot swim enrol her in a good school that offers a Child Minder Essentials swimming course.
As a final word, the only way to keep your child safe from drowning is to be vigilant around all water. Watch them all the time. Never let them out of your sight. They are precious and deserve to be looked after.