RVA Parenting: Water safety ahead of spring break and summer swim season

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It is hard to even think about summer with the cold weather we have been seeing, but spring break and swim season is right around the corner. So, before you hit the pool or the beach, swim experts are giving some advice on how to keep your kids safe.

At the new Goldfish Swim School in Richmond, swimming lessons are supposed to be a dose of fun, but more importantly, a lesson in water safety.

"Swimming is a lifesaving skill and actually swimming is a number one cause of injury death in children one to four years old," said Kim Robinson, co-owner of Goldfish swim school. "And is the second leading cause of death in children one to 14 years old. So, this is a really important topic that every family needs to know about."

Obviously, they are in the business of teaching swimming, so they recommend lessons for every child.

"With swimming, the earlier the better," said Robinson. We start at four months old, and actually, the babies are some of the easiest that transition into the water."

The school teaches safety through play and playful phrases that can help your child remember how to get to safety.

"One verbal cue we use here is fin belly flipper," said Robinson. "And we're teaching kids to get out of the pool safely by using their elbow, elbow, tummy and knee."

But there are other important things to remember, like who is watching your kids near water. She says to designate a water watcher.

"That is someone who is not going to be on their cell phone. They're not going to be engaging in other conversations or reading a magazine," said Robinson. "They're solely focused on the water and the children in there."

Remember that floaties do not double as safety devices. If you're going to count on one, use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Click here for more water safety tips.

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