As a devoted parent, you love and cherish your child. You want nothing more than for them to have a happy, healthy life. That desire can sometimes be somewhat at odds with your child’s love of playing in the water. You know they’re having fun, and that’s a good thing. You also know that drowning is a huge danger and something that should be avoided at all costs. It’s only natural to wonder if it might be possible to drown-proof your child.
Short Answer: No
Unfortunately, the short answer to the question is no. There is no way to actually drown-proof your child, no matter how much you might want to. Even the best swimmers in the world are still susceptible to drowning any time they get in the water. The difference between them and your little one is that they’ve spent years honing the skills they need to stay safe.
The Role of Flotation Devices
But what about flotation devices? Shouldn’t they keep my child safe? Well, yes, but it’s still not enough to drown-proof your child. For starters, flotation devices only work properly if they fit properly. Poorly fitted devices can actually increase your child’s risk of drowning, especially if they’re little and inexperienced. They can also instill a false confidence in your child’s swimming capabilities. This makes it easier for both of you to lower your guard, putting them at greater risk of being in dangerous situations.
Practicing Water Safety
One of the other differences between your little one and expert swimmers is that they’ve practiced water safety so much that it’s become second nature to them. People don’t generally start out inherently knowing everything there is to know about water safety. It has to be taught. Help your child practice water safety by teaching them that they need to ask every time before they get in the water. Teach them that they should always swim with an adult present, to enter the water feet first every time, and to not play holding breath games.
No matter how hard you try, drown-proofing your child isn’t something that’s going to happen. Even properly using flotation devices is no guarantee. The good news is that you can still give your child the tools they need to help them stay safe in the water. The sooner your child starts to learn how to be safe and confident in the water, the better off they’ll be.
Give your child the gift of water safety. Check out our SwimBaby Programs that you can take advantage of to get your little one off to a good start in the water before they’ve even figured out how to walk.