Are Swimming Lessons All That’s Required for Water Safety?

Portrait of smiling little boy enjoying underwater swim in the pool towards the camera. Sunny summer day. Copy space above the boy's head.

Developing strong swimming skills is a crucial part of preventing swimming-related accidents. This is why many parents recognize the importance of enrolling their children in swim lessons at a young age. Unfortunately, if you’re under the impression swimming lessons are all it takes to keep your child safe in the water, you are sadly mistaken.

Major Risks in the Water

Accidents can happen to both strong swimmers and weak swimmers alike. And although the risk of drowning is higher in children, even adults can find themselves in trouble without proper caution in the water. The following scenarios could leave even strong swimmers susceptible to drowning, should they find themselves alone in water:

  • If an individual becomes tired or injured, such as a muscle cramp, that impedes their ability to properly swim;
  • If an individual falls into the water fully clothed. Clothes not only weigh you down in the water but can prevent your body from performing proper swimming technique. This makes swimming significantly more tiring and can put you at higher risk of drowning.
  • If an individual enters the water after consuming alcohol. Alcohol impacts our body’s coordination and judgment, which could definitely have serious consequences in the water.

Supervision is a Must

One of the biggest risks associated with swimming lessons is a false sense of security that leads some individuals to become overconfident in the pool. Regardless of how successful your child has been in swimming lessons, it is critical that kids are closely monitored in a backyard pool, at a friend’s pool party or when they’re in the water at the beach. No amount of swimming justifies leaving kids unsupervised in a body of water.

So, in addition to swimming lessons, attentiveness is critical if you have kids in the pool or plan on going swimming yourself. Always make sure you are not pushing yourself past what you’re capable of and that you are in the presence of qualified assistance (i.e., a lifeguard or swim instructor), should you need assistance.