Swim lessons can save your child's life; when to enroll your children

Children can be enrolled as early as 6 months

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Every parent’s worst nightmare; Two year old August Farley's drowning death hit parents hard across the region.

Divers found a missing 2-year-old boy dead in Smith Mountain Lake on Thursday afternoon, according to Virginia State Police.

Read more here.

Drowning remains the second-leading cause of death in children in the United States, but a 2009 study showed an 88 percent reduction in drowning risk for that age group who had taken swimming lessons, according to United States Health Organization.

While swimming lessons can be fun and enjoyable, Christiansburg Aquatic Center operations manager, Chrystal Jones said they are also essential survival skills.

"It's a life skill. I remember telling my kids as they kicked and screamed on the way to pool that you don't ever have to swim competitively, but this is a life skill and you need to know how to at least handle yourself in the water because you never know,” Jones said.

Looking on as a mom, she knows how quickly things can happen.

"You can tell them to stay right there, turn around for only a second, then, poof they're gone,” Jones said.

Jones reccomends starting swim lessons as early as 6 months old. Even at that age, babies can learn the basics. Jones said starting children early will help them learn quicker.

According to the CDC, each year about 4,000 people drown in the United States.
Statistically two children day each day from drowning.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death among children between ages one to four years old

Those statistics are a frightening reminder for all parents in our area where growing means playing in creeks, rivers and the lake.

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