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Free event is designed to educate families and help prevent drowning deaths
Safe Kids Midlands, led by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, teams up with the Swim Lessons Company to offer free swimming lessons and safety tips Saturday, Aug. 13 from 2-5 p.m. The Swim Lessons Company will host Safer Swim at Chesterbrook Academy, 1050 Wildewood Centre Drive in northeast Columbia. The free swimming lessons will be taught by nationally recognized expert Jim Reiser and a team of his Swim Lessons University certified instructors.
“We will have a limited number of spots available so that we can provide individual attention to small groups of children during 20-minute lessons,” says Safe Kids Midlands coordinator Emily Marr.
Because every year approximately 800 children under the age of 14 die due to drowning accidents, Safe Kids Midlands, Children’s Hospital, and The Swim Lessons Company wants to help families avoid this tragedy. “Learning to swim and swim well, proper fencing, close and constant supervision, and wearing a type I or II coast guard approved lifejacket when on a boat or around open water situations are some of the most critical steps toward keeping children safe,” says Reiser.
Safe Kids Midlands offers these tips:
·Never leave a child unattended near a pool, bathtub, bucket, toilet, puddle, pond or wading pool. A child can drown in as little as an inch of water.
·If a child is missing, always check the swimming pool first. There is no time to spare.
· If you have a pool, put a locking fence all the way around it, with no more than six inches between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
·Do not leave toys in the pool or beside it.
·For extra protection, install a pool alarm, a gate alarm on the fence, and an automatic pool cover.
“Kids drown quickly,” cautions Marr. “A child’s lungs can fill up with water in a matter of seconds. If you leave your child unattended near water, you might come back in two minutes and find your child unconscious,” she adds.
Admission to Safer Swim is free, but space is limited. Children ages one to 12 are welcome. Children aged three and under must wear a reusable swim diaper. Children should arrive wearing their swimsuits and should bring towels. Call (803) 296-KIDS to register.
About Children’s Hospital
Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital is the state’s first and only freestanding children’s hospital. Each year, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital treats more than 80,000 sick and injured children. As a major pediatric referral center, Children’s Hospital maintains more than 30 medical subspecialties devoted strictly to children.