Experts share the importance of research before attending swim lessons

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 6:50 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The leading cause of death for children ages one to four is drowning.

For kids up to 14 years old, it’s the second leading cause of death, only behind car crashes.

Those stats highlight how much more important it is for kids to learn how to swim.

Here’s what parents need to know before getting their kids in the water.

Drowning cases like Izzy Scott’s are tragic and unfortunately do happen.

The numbers speak for themself when it comes to just how important swim lessons are despite rare cases like Scott’s. Swim lesson professionals are sharing what your family needs to know before signing up for a swim class.

For 36 years, the Atlanta Swim Academy has helped give thousands of children a life-saving skill, and business hasn’t slowed down.

“The need for swim lessons now is huge,” said Atlanta Swim Academy Owner Brad Grzelka.

According to the CDC, more children ages one to four die from drowning than any other cause of death.

Most of those deaths happen in pools.

Grzelka says it’s more important to encourage swim lessons after drowning cases like Scott’s.

“We don’t want to discourage or scare and put fear in parents while getting their kids into swim lessons because they need swim lessons,” he said.

A non-profit called the United States Swim School Association works to promote safety in swim schools.

Executive Director Lisa Zarda said: “Formal swim lessons for children ages one to four can reduce the risk of drowning by 80 percent.”

There are things that parents should ask about and look out for before signing their kids up for a swim class.

“It’s always good to be reminded and re-commit to yes this is why we’re so committed to safety and certain rules that we have in place at the swim school,” she said.

Grzelka said: “They can’t provide insurance, they don’t have a business license, and they want cash up front, you might want to look around and or shop and look into it more and ask questions, get referrals.”

Asking for the class size, certifications, and if there’s a lifeguard are all important questions.

“It makes us want to do even better and spread the word even more and try to educate people on what to look for,” he said.

The USSSA says their instructor-to-swimmer ratio is one to six, but they often recommend keeping it at one to four to be safe.

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