Ozarks Tonight: Start them young in the water

Ozarks Tonight

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With pools reopening, slowly, and with warmer temperatures on the way, you are probably planning on going out to the lakes or the pool with the kids.

In this Ozarks Tonight, Jenifer Abreu talks to Alexis Brooks, the aquatics manager at Diventures, about some safety tips for being around the water this summer.

Brooks had the following tips:

· For new swimmers, spend a little time poolside watching others before getting into the water.
· Stay close, be alert, and never leave a child unattended near water.
· Assign a designated watcher to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
· Make sure to always swim with a buddy, whether that’s an adult or a child.
· Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.

Brooks said starting kids as early as possible in the water is key for safety as they grow up because they will feel comfortable and confident in and around water from a young age and never develop a fear for water.

She suggests starting them out at six-months-old.

“They have a natural reflex of being in the water. It’s called the amphibian reflex.”

She says the American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its recommendation to starting kids out with swim lessons at one, but at Diventures, their suggestion is six months.

“It’s pretty incredible what kids an do that age,” she said.

Brooks says kids shouldn’t rely on floaties or foam noodles. However, they can be helpful to those who can’t swim independently. But parents shouldn’t rely on the flotation devices entirely, and should still children in the water.

She says life-jackets should be Coast Guard approved and fit like a hug. If they go up from the shoulders more than an inch, they are not fitted properly.

During this pandemic, Brooks said some Diventures customers declined refunds on their prepaid lessons to help instructors get paid and continue training.

“We are extremely appreciative of that,” Brooks said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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