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Diving into swim safety: Swimming lessons crucial for young kids as pool season returns

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drownings are the leading cause of death for children, ages one to four
Posted at 4:52 PM, Apr 30, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The heat is making its way back to the desert and pools are becoming the season’s main hangout spot. So, as we splash into the water, we have to make sure our little ones stay afloat, too.

To learn more about the importance of swimming lessons for young kids, I went to a Parent and Tot class at Saguaro Aquatics' Thornydale location. I met Parent and Tot instructor and manager, Sammy Hendricks, who tells me every drowning is 100% preventable.

“I feel like everybody should know how to swim at the end of the day," Hendricks said. "Even if you don’t have a pool, you never know what could happen.”

The Drowning Coalition of Arizona says the "ABC's of water safety" are:
Adult supervision
Barriers
Classes.

It’s crucial to have adult supervision with children around water, to use barriers like locks or fences and consider signing children up for swimming classes.

Tucson mom Julieanna Krystofolski has been taking her daughter to swimming lessons at Saguaro Aquatics since she was one-and-a-half years old.

“You hear about these drownings all the time and it is terrifying," said Krystofolski. "As a mom and now as a mom of two, it’s scary, and I don’t want to be that statistic.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drownings are the leading cause of death for children, ages one to four.

“We started her around 1 1/2 and highly recommend it," Krystofolski said. "She’s so much more confident, even in the bathtub, and then in the pool she’s able to have fun.”

Hendricks believes that young age shouldn’t stop parents from enrolling their kids in swimming classes.

“I’ve had kiddos join right at six months and maybe even a couple weeks in working on their bubbles," said Hendricks. "They’re already doing it by themselves with their parents help.”

Data from the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office shows there were three minor drownings in Pima County in 2022, four in 2023, and zero so far this year. All deaths were either in a bathtub, pool or pond.

Pima County Medical Examiner's office drowning data

Knowing how to respond to a drowning is just as important as knowing how to swim, and safe rescue techniques like CPR can save lives. Find a CPR class here.