Swimming Tips: Keeping kids safe in the water - FOX 32 News Chicago

Swimming Tips: Keeping kids safe in the water

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It’s officially the best time to live in Chicago.

Summer begins Saturday and it's going to be a beautiful weekend for hitting the beach or pool. That means more children will be playing near water, and with the number of recent drownings, experts say parents have to be vigilant.

“There's always some adult around because it can happen so quickly because if you take your eye off of him for 30 seconds you might not get a chance to get him back,” said Adam Dorfman, a parent.

Dorfman has had his 4-year-old son in swimming lessons since he was 2 years old. He said that teaching kids how to swim can't start early enough.

“It's very easy for kids to find themselves in water, and for them to be comfortable and aware enough to swim 2 feet back to the side of the pool, is something they can learn relatively quickly and even if they don't become Olympic swimmers, it’s still very much worth doing,” added Dorfman.

Experts said that it takes less than 10 seconds for a child to drown. In the Chicago area, there have been 6 drowning's in the past week alone.

And with the official start of summer being Saturday, parents are encouraged to start teaching their children how to swim.

The Goldfish Swim School in Roscoe Village said that they start teaching infants as young as 4-months-old how to float on their backs and even climb out of the pool.

“We do work on our life saving skills as far as climbing out doing our floats we work on our basic paddles and we get the child comfortable In the water,” said Sarah Edlen of the Goldfish Swim School.

Because even when you do have a close eye on your children, you may not notice that they are in danger.

When a person is drowning, they're not getting enough air to breathe so they don't have enough air to activate their vocal cords to yell out help I'm drowning,” said Francesco Pia, an Aquatic Injury Prevention Specialist.

It could even look like a person is swimming when they are actually drowning.

“With a dog paddle the child is moving in the water with the instinctive drowning response, they're moving their arms and not moving in any direction,” added Pia.

Swim instructors said kids should always have an adult chaperone around, and the sooner they're comfortable in the water, the easier it is for them to stay out of harm’s way.

Children can actually start learning these lifesaving skills as early as 4 months, and instructors told FOX 32 News that you can start your children at any age. Kids around 10-years-old can usually learn how to swim in about a month.

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