dsc07086.jpg

There is nothing like a Michigan Beach!  The water is clear (usually) and the sand is clean (usually).  I’ve frequented many a beach in this area and I have to say, Sterns Park Beach is one of the best, hands down.  It wasn’t crowded, no pay to park, and a life guard on duty.  What more could a busy mom ask for?  Up until this summer, my oldest was utterly terrified of the waves.  So much so that we only went to the beach one time last year and all she wanted to do was play in the sand.  Now I am all about sand play, but I could’ve done that in my back yard in the sand box, not drive 45 minutes and take 15 minutes to find a place to park, just so she could play in the sand.  Come on!  Apparently waves are scary.  Which I was glad to some degree because water is dangerous and she should be afraid because she does not have the proper skills to use the water safely.  However, this year we’ve spent a lot of time at the beach.  My oldest now will go in as deep as her chin and jump and splash.  It’s amazing how fast she’s grown up!  My youngest on the other hand will bravely go into the water, but as the waves start to rush her, she runs out screaming, “Up, Momma!”.  She actually had more fun chasing the ‘birdies’ /seagulls.

dsc07079.jpg

There are many different ideas about kids and swimming lessons, but this is what early childhood experts had to say:

  • Many young children love being in and around water, whether it’s a backyard pool or the local beach. But without proper safety measures, water can be dangerous for young children.   Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children 1 to 4 years of age. Babies and toddlers drown most often at home, in bathtubs and swimming pools.   Drowning only takes a second and is almost always silent. Children can drown in as little as 1.5 inches of water.  
  • There is no research to show that swimming lessons for children younger than 4 years of age will prevent drowning. At this age, children are not old enough to learn how to swim on their own. They are too young to react with water survival skills that would help them in an emergency situation.  
  • There is not a lot of research about the exact age when young children are ready to learn how to swim. Several studies show that children do not have the skills to swim on their own until they are 4 years old, even if they start lessons at a younger age.  
  • If your child is younger than 4 years old, look for swimming programs that focus on building water confidence and that teach parents about water safety. These are great opportunities for families to participate in fun activities that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.  
  • All children should be supervised by an adult when they are in or around water and should never be left alone in a pool or bathtub, even for a moment.
  • Infants and toddlers should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when they are in or around water. This includes pools, bathtubs, and beaches, and other water sources.
  • Infants who cannot sit unsupported should be held by an adult at all times.
  • The Lifesaving Society recommends an adult supervision ratio of 1:1 for infants (one adult supervising only one infant) and 1:2 for children younger than 3 years old (no more than two children under 3 years for each adult). Teens should not supervise infants and toddlers without a “buddy” adult supervisor.
  • Parents and pool owners should learn how to swim and how to rescue a drowning victim, and should maintain certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • So as we all have fun this summer, please be safe, and never take your eyes off of them!  Life is too precious, especially these two!

    dsc07068-2.jpg

Advertisements