School is out and the pool is calling, but is your family water ready? According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. Thankfully though, parents can play a key role in protecting the ones they love.
One of the safest things you can do this summer to protect your children is enroll them in an age-appropriate swim class. Some of the many programs available throughout Brevard County include:
- Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) of Brevard County – Providing Self-Rescue™ swimming lessons for children 6 months to 6 years of age, ISR goes beyond traditional swimming instruction by combining the fun of swimming with ISR’s Self-Rescue techniques. The goal of ISR is to turn your child into an “Aquatic Problem-Solver.” Visit SwimSafeNow.com for complete information and a list of instructors in your area.
- Safety Susie Swim School – Following what they like to call the “spoonful of sugar” method, Safety Susie offers an American Red Cross “learn to swim” program tailored to children over age 2 who have been previously traumatized, have a fear of water or “extra energy.” To join a group or schedule your private sessions, call Susie at (321) 604-1429 or visit SafetySusieSwimSchool.com.
- Palm Bay Aquatic Center – Located at Brevard Community College Palm Bay Campus, PBAC offers a variety of options for swim levels beginning with infants 6 months old, Parent & Tot Levels A-B, and American Red Cross Levels I-VI. Visit BrevardParks.com/PBAC or call (321) 952-2833 for more information.
- Cocoa Beach Aquatic Center – Located at the Cocoa Beach Country Club, CBAC offers American Red Cross swimming and water safety programs for all ages and levels. Visit CityofCocoaBeach.com/CityLife/Aquatic_Center.htm or call (321) 868-3314.
- City of Melbourne Leisure Services Department – At both Fee (114 E. Fee Avenue) and Sherwood (2479 Post Road) pools, the City of Melbourne offers American Red Cross certified Water Safety Instruction. Beginning at age three, water safety instructors test children to determine their skill level and may move them to the appropriate level based on their current skill. They also offer parent/child aquatics for ages 6-36 months. For more information, call (321) 255-4608, or visit: MelbourneFlorida.org/Leisure/Swim_Lessons.htm.
- Health First Pro-Health & Fitness Viera & Merritt Island Swim Schools – Offer private and group swim lessons for all ages and skill levels year round in their indoor, heated pools. All instructors follow American Red Cross guidelines, and are WSI (Water Safety Instructor) certified. Their low student/instructor ratios allow them to provide the highest level of instruction, and encourage maximum learning potential. For more information, email Swim@Health-First.org.
- YMCA Titusville – Provides an aquatics program for anyone ages 6 months to adulthood, including: parent/child classes, pre-school classes, youth and adult classes. Group and private lessons are available, conducted by certified instructors. Programs prepare students for water safety, stroke development and swim teams. For more information, visit YMCACentralFlorida.com/y-locations/Titusville.
The Consumer Products Safety Council (CPSC) offers a great website for parents and families, PoolSafely.gov. Their “Simple Steps Saves Lives” outline teaches parents and families how to build on their current safety systems at pools and spas by adopting additional water safety steps, “Because you can never know which one might save a child’s life… until it does.” Some of the key areas they touch on include: staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool; learning and practicing water safety skills; and having the appropriate equipment for your pool or spa.
The website also offers a Kid’s Corner where children can enjoy CPSC’s educational videos and interactive activities while learning about pool safety and family fun in the water.