SAFETY UPDATE: The American Academy of Pediatrics says, if you start swim lessons for kids at age 1, you greatly reduce your child’s risk of drowning.
Nearly 1,000 drowning deaths happen here, in the U.S., each year – and drowning is a leading cause of death for children.
The two major things to teach kids: water safety and basic water skills.
An AAP author tells CBS News that parents shouldn’t just think of pools and big open bodies of water, but bathtubs, toilets and buckets. Kids age 0-4 are at the highest risk for drowning-related accidents, since they don’t have the skills to supervise themselves, nor anticipate danger.
Little kids have disproportionately large heads, compared to their bodies – so they are at much greater risk of toppling, head-first into even very shallow water (even only 2 inches of water in a bucket), and drowning, because they don’t know how to LIFT themselves OUT, to safety.