Taking swim lessons isn't enough to "drownproof" your child. What to do:
At the pool Make sure a lifeguard is on duty, but stay close enough to your child so you could grab him at a moment's notice.
At the beach Obey lifeguard warnings and signs. Swim with kids, keeping on the deeper side of them.
At home Don't allow your child to swim unless an adult is present and watching closely, and surround your pool with a secure fence that's at least four feet high.
What about water toys? "Treat them as toys, not safety devices," says Connie Harvey of the Red Cross.
Before you sign up for a class
Make sure the instructor has been trained and certified, and then observe a class to see that:
- The instructor is enthusiastic, while setting clear rules.
- Each child gets plenty of water time and one-on-one instruction.
- The instructor is patient, so kids can learn at their own pace.
- The kids are having fun!