Teaching your young children about water safety

NOBLESVILLE (WTHR) – Drowning becomes an issue every year as the weather warms up and children are out for summer vacation.

Water safety is an important lesson for children, regardless if they are swimming in a pool or creek, or if they get into a retention pond.

Stony Creek Swim Center offers lessons for children as young as four weeks old.

The program offers financial aide and reduced prices for lessons depending on income eligibility.

Owner Kim Walters talks about the importance of swim and water safety issues on WTHR Sunrise Wednesday morning.

It may not be as obvious as you think to know if a child is in danger.

“It’s not like a Hollywood movie scene,” she says, adding that there isn’t the typical frantic scene and cries for help.

Instead, she says it’s much more dangerous.

“It’s eerily quiet,” Walters said. Children often end up face down, with their back up, and tend to kick.

The kicking motion further drags them down, putting them in even more danger.

Adults who notice this should be alarmed and call for help and try to throw something to them to grab hold of to be pulled to safety or to be used as a flotation device.

“Even a milk jug will work,” Walters said.

Children are taught that when in danger, they should turn on their back and float. This helps them to stay calm and to safely wait until help arrives.

“We also teach them to wall walk,” Walters said.

Wall walking involves teaching a child to grab the edges of whatever they can to pull them to the side of the body of water and help them get out, or give them something to hold on to until help arrives.

Walters says children with autism and special needs tend to be more drawn to water and especially need to be taught water safety.

Stony Creek Swim Center is certified by the United States Swim School Association to teach special needs swimming.

“The water tends to help calm them both in and out of the pool,” Walters said, who is also a parent of a child with autism.

Find out more about Stony Creek Swim Center here.

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