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Classified in: Sports and recreation
Subjects: CHI, PSF

Goldfish Swim School's Pediatrician Offers Winter Water Safety Tips, Suggests Giving the Gift of Activity this Holiday Season with Swim Lessons

Leading Swim School Promotes Year-Round Water Safety Education, Suggests Family Members Near and Far Gift Swim Lessons as a Fun, Unexpected Experience for Children Lasting a Lifetime

TROY, Mich., Dec. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- With temperatures dropping and the holidays just around the corner, Goldfish Swim School reminds parents the importance of water safety throughout the year ? even in the winter months. According to the National Safety Council, even when it's cold outside, more than 150 people across the country lose their lives due to drowning each month. Drownings are also the number one cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, taking the lives of three children in the United States every day.

According to board-certified and o-fish-al pediatrician of Goldfish Swim School, Dr. Molly O'Shea of Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center, parents and children must prioritize water safety year-round to be ready whenever they will be in or around water - including frozen water. 

"Just because it's winter time, it doesn't mean it's safe to let up on water safety precautions," says Dr. Molly. "With activities like family holiday getaways to a warmer destination, weekend trips to indoor water parks or ice-skating outings at the nearby lake or pond, parents and their children must remain vigilant, regardless of weather."

To help parents, Dr. Molly suggests these top winter water safety tips to combat drowning occurrences:

Winter Water Safety Tips: 

  1. Beware of Unstable Ice: For some, the cold weather brings fun winter activities like ice skating and sledding, but it's important to remember to stay off the ice unless a lake or pond has been certified for thickness and safety. Teach your children to never walk on rivers or retention ponds, and remember that ice thickness can change on different parts of the water.
  2. Be Emergency-Ready: It is important for your children to know what to do in a winter water safety emergency. Teach them not to panic if they fall through ice and instead to remain calm. Practice what to do in this situation and reinforce the importance of slow movements to help retain body heat. As a parent, you can take preparedness measures such as learning child CPR, storing rescue equipment and keeping emergency phone numbers nearby. 
  3. Prioritize Water-Safety Conversations with Caretakers: With the winter season comes winter-break, meaning many children will be out of school and playing at friends' houses, camps, with relatives, etc. Prioritize water safety conversations by talking to the caretakers about water safety measures ? supervision, keeping gates closed, doors locked, etc. A simple chat can turn into a lifesaving conversation. 
  4. Bath-time Supervision is a Must: Bath-time is a year-round routine and sadly the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that among infants under 1-year-old, two thirds of all drownings occur in bathtubs. Children can drown in as little as two inches of water, so it's critical that parents know to never leave a young child alone in the bath, even for a moment. Bath seats and rings are meant to be bathing aids, and will not prevent drowning if the child is left unattended. 
  5. Play it Cool and Follow the Rules: This is critical for winter vacation-goers who will be exposed to new water environments ? public pools, water parks, beaches and lakes. Sometimes when our little ones are in play-mode, rules fall by the wayside. Review rules together as a family before letting your kids loose to enjoy the water. This includes the golden rule of never swimming alone. While many of our young ones think they're all grown up and don't need a swim buddy, you can re-enforce this rule by explaining this rule goes for kids and adults alike. Teach your children to always have a buddy in the water ? whether it be an adult or peer. 
  6. Designate a Safer Swimmer Guard: Parents look forward to winter vacations as much as kids to get a break from reality, which makes designating a Safer Swimmer Guard essential. A Safer Swimmer Guard's sole responsibility needs to be keeping an eye on the swimmers. Vigilance is key ? no chatting, no checking your phone, no distractions. Be sure to change guards every 30 minutes so they are alert and refreshed. 
  7. Enroll in Swim Lessons: One of the best ways to protect your children against drowning this winter is to improve comfort level in the water and strengthen swimming capabilities through swim lessons, which can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Lessons help increase muscle memory by practicing basic techniques for kids to use during a water emergency - such as the crab walk, properly getting in and out of the pool, going under water, rolling on their back, treading water, learning different strokes, etc. 

"While following water safety tips during the winter is good practice, it's also a perfect time for children to be gifted life-enriching activities, like swim lessons, for holiday presents," said Dr. Molly, "This helps them build confidence and develop new skills before they expect to use them when it warms up in the spring."

For the holiday shopping season, Goldfish Swim Schools suggests skipping the usual toys for a child's gift, and instead giving a fun activity that's an experience, unexpected and will last not only all year-round, but for a lifetime ? swim lessons!

"A golden gift for aunts, uncles and grandparents living near and far to give, gifting swim lessons can make gift-givers feel good, knowing when their little family member unwraps the gift of swim lessons, they're also unwrapping life lessons, play time with friends and memories," said Chris McCuiston, CEO of Goldfish Swim School. "Most importantly, they're unwrapping the gift of water safety ? giving parents the priceless gift of peace of mind."

Holiday Swim Lesson Packages are available by visiting participating Goldfish Swim School locations and online.

Goldfish Swim School is known for its safe, fun and baby-friendly environment, featuring a shiver-free 90-degree pool, private changing huts, as well as small class sizes. Skilled and certified instructors use integrity, compassion and trust to provide swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years.

For more information on Goldfish Swim School, please visit https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/.

About Goldfish Swim School 

Founded by husband-and-wife team Chris and Jenny McCuiston, Goldfish Swim School provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to infants and children ages four months to 12 years. Classes are offered by specially trained instructors in a safe, child-friendly and fun environment using their research-based philosophy called The Science of SwimPlay®. Headquartered in Troy, Michigan, Goldfish Swim School was established in Birmingham, Michigan in 2006, and opened its first franchise location in 2009. Recently, the brand was recognized by Entrepreneur in its Franchise 500® ranking, Franchise Times' Fast & Serious List, and Inc. Magazine's Top 5000. Goldfish Swim School is currently in the process of expanding franchise opportunities throughout North America, with more than 135+ schools open, and an additional 150+ in development in more than 30 states and Canada.

Media Contact: Maeve Devitt, Fishman PR, 847-945-1300, [email protected]

SOURCE Goldfish Swim School

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