Many parents believe that their child’s ability to swim is adequate and will prevent drowning tragedies however other parents know deep down that their child’s level of swimming safety is extremely low. The parents that realize their child has less than adequate swimming skills are in a much better starting place than those that believe a drowning risk is reduced simply because their child can swim. Common sense seems to be winning over the facts of why drownings occur.
The American Medical Association knows that swimming skills alone do not reduce the risks of drowning and that without the skill of self reliance swimming is a useless skill for safety. Drownings occur because of a lack of coping skills, not swimming ability. Children naturally “cope” with dangerous situations by panicking, crying and waiting for help. Without the skills of self reliance, swimming is a useless skill and almost always leads to tragedy.
Experience is what is needed in order to make life saving decisions in an emergency. Experience tells children that they do not have to panic, cry, or wait for help in order to survive a life or death water emergency. This “experience” can be gained by a behavior modification method that teaches children how to be safe in the water the way all parents want them to be. Swimming skills are a bonus but the most important skill is an automatic life-saving response that a child can learn from experience. This type of experience is critical for his or her survival if a child finds him or herself in a dangerous water situation.