Swimming is the only sport that has the ability to save your child’s life. Drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death among children. According to Florida Department of Health, Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1-4 years old. The drowning rate is 7.54 per 100,000 people. The number of children who drown annually in Florida can fill three to four preschool classrooms.
This is a problem and people in the community blame the parents. However, pool safety is not only the parent’s responsibility. It is everyone’s responsibility.
Jon Ronald believes that many of the summer camps and the school system should get more involved.
“My father had a friend that drowned in a lake while at a summer camp,” the Tallahassee resident said. “His mother never let him get near a pool or any body of water for that matter, except for the tub. “The summer camp didn’t know that. However, if they were to make sure all summer camps taught children how to swim these problems may not exist,” he added. “The school system could also help out by making swimming an actual class.”
Many of the local swimming pools in Tallahassee like Trousdell Aquatics Center, Wade Wehunt Pool and Florida State University’s Leach Gymnasium, provide swimming lessons for Tallahassee locals of all ages.
Walker Ford pool, located on Pasco Street, may not provide private swimming lessons but it does offer swimmers and the families that use their facility with private instructors that are located in the area.
Alan Cox is one of those instructors. The 43-year-old aquatic instructor has been providing private swimming lessons since he was 17 years old. “We [Floridians] are surrounded by water,” he said. “No one, in Florida seems to remember that. Anything could happen. You want to give your children a fair chance to survive.”
Cox has taught ages six months to 50 years and above the basic techniques of surviving in a large body of water. “My lessons start with water adjustment which is teaching them how to blow bubbles and hold their breath under water. It also allows the student to get comfortable with putting their face under water,” Cox said. “After they are comfortable I transfer to water position which allows them to learn how to float and then I teach them how to move their arms and legs. In the end they learn how to combine everything together.”
These basic techniques have saved thousands of children and could save yours.