Swim safety warning issued for risk of drowning after pandemic stopped kids' lessons

MOUNT LAUREL, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Swim safety organizations are sounding the alarm about an increased risk of drowning and are encouraging families to refresh swimming skills now that most pandemic restriction are being lifted.

Swim lessons were on hold during the pandemic for many families, so now swim safety experts worry that some kids may be at risk of drowning due to missed time of lessons in the water.

At Goldfish Swim School in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, kids not only have a good time, but, most importantly, they learn vital skills.

"Trying to catch up, and the summer is coming on quick," said parent Brian Lampman.

Lampman said his 4-year-old daughter, Penny, has been working on her swimming skills since she was 6 months old.

"We lost a lot of time with the pandemic for her to keep up with swimming and she was really almost at a good level to where she was really learning how to swim," Lampman said.

"Each week she's getting more comfortable and it's really important for safety in the community because you just never know," said Marsha Giordano, one of Penny's grandmothers.

Kids as young as 4 months and up to 12 can be taught at Goldfish.

"Never too early. The earlier you get your child out into the pool, the better they will be in the future with that," said Korey Ream, general manager at Goldfish.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is warning families about an increased risk of drowning this summer since kids fell behind on skills during the pandemic.

Swim lessons build muscle memory, especially if there's an emergency in the water.

Instructors said it's important to refresh your family on safety measures this summer.

"Typically, when it comes to drowning, it's usually a very quick and quiet scenario. A lot of times an adult may be present, they're just not aware it's going on because it's not loud," Ream said.

A few suggested skills to work on:

-Be sure your child is able to roll onto their backs in the water and float.

-Teach them to swim to the nearest wall if they fall into the pool.

-Use a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device that properly fits your child.

-Also teach them not to swim alone.

-Make sure someone is watching them and that the person is actually paying attention.
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