Marathon Area Swim Association shares tips on swimming safety this holiday weekend

Adults supervising kids in the water is the most important thing
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:19 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - With Memorial Day Weekend and summer coming up, more kids will be spending time outdoors and near water. While taking a dip in the pool or lake is refreshing, parents should keep an extra close eye on kids to avoid drowning.

While children are at the highest risk of drowning, anyone can drown. The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention estimates there are about 4,000 unintentional drownings each year. Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 years old, according to the CDC.

For kids five to 14 years old, drowning is the second leading cause of death.

Jennifer Passehl, the facility director for the Marathon Area Swim Association, said keeping an eye on swimmers is key to avoiding a deadly situation.

“The biggest thing is supervision. It doesn’t matter what age, what ability, what level, you want to make sure that anybody in the water is still supervised so if anything were to happen somebody is there to help,” said Passehl.

Passehl said some tips to keep children safe near water include supervising children, teaching kids how to swim, and having kids wear bright colors so they’re easy to see. Passehl also said to keep in mind that swimming in open water is different from swimming in a pool.

“Think and be smart. So, you know, if the water doesn’t look safe it probably isn’t. So don’t go there. If you end up in trouble, try to stay calm. Float on your back. Don’t panic, and then make a decision of where to go and what to do next,” said Passehl.

It’s never too early to get kids used to the water. The Marathon Area Swim Association offers swim lessons to infants as young as 6 months old.