Growing up near Lake Erie, my parents were very vigilant at instilling a fear and respect in this great big lake. We camped, we fished and we swam in and around this wonderful body of water and it never ceases to amaze me when I hear stories of someone who underestimated just how dangerous Lake Erie can be even for the most skilled swimmers.
Such was the case this past Monday, when a young girl was wadding in Lake Erie, got caught in a rip current and dragged her teacher under who was trying to get her out of the water. A nineteen year old life guard was able to pull the little girl out and then went back for the teacher but it took a half dozen other lifeguards plus a navy vet to get them out. The teacher had been under the water for 15 to 20 minutes and her heart had stopped but the 46 year old seemed to be fighting. Sadly, she died on Wednesday.
They were at the beach a half hour before it opened and there may or may have not been warning flags posted at the time about the adverse conditions. The life guards that were there, were getting ready for work. The beach was not officially open, yet.
Since this is the beach we happen to spend our weekends at I have been following this story very closely. I have also made the six year old watch the coverage with me so he can grasp why I won't let them in the water when the waves are to high or why I won't let them go out past a certain point even though the water barely reaches his chest. He is so skinny it would take no time for him to be swept out and under.
After Monday's event, will I still let the kids swim there? Hell yes! It is freakin' hot out and we love the water. That is why they are called accidents, tragic yes, and you better believe I will be reminding him of this when he goes out to far.
Coincidentally, this week's Mommy Mindset discussion was about kids and swimming lessons. I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.
Now that warmer weather is here and we'll all be enjoying more time at the beach or the pool, let's talk about teaching our kiddos to swim! How old were your children when they first started swimming? Did you teach them yourself or enroll them in lessons?
Leila: My kids have been swimming since they were babies. They are now 4 and 6 and swim with floaties on. We are hoping to sign them up for swimming lessons eventually, but it's so darn expensive down here!
Emily: My son started swimming lessons when he was 6 months old. It was important to me that he learn to swim right at an early age because we live so close to the water. He is a bit reluctant when it comes to "big waves" but loves the water! He'll be turning three in a few weeks and I'm happy with is comfort level around the water.
Sarah: My daughter loves the water but she has not had formal swimming lessons. Our hope was to start her this summer (she'll be 3 in August). I am not the best swimmer in the world so I want her to learn from someone who actually knows what they are doing.
LaVonne: My daughter learned to swim when she was 3. My husband taught her. She is a little fish - loves the water so much. This summer, she is 4, and we are thinking of putting her into swimming lessons. We want her to learn her strokes and be able to swim better above the water. We just aren't sure if we want to put her in a private lesson or a group lesson.
Mary: My six year old started lessons when he was three (going on four) but the instructors were college kids who thought he was funny. They struggled to really teach him because they were distracted by him! He did learn the basics though and absolutely loves the water now as well as the lessons. Baby girl (two years old) will be taking lessons with her brother staring in July. Her day care provider has a pool and she feels very comfortable around water (including holding her breath and going under) but since we go so often now (between the public pool, beach and day care) I think lessons are necessary. I tried to teach my son but even though his instructors were more his buddy he still learned more from them.
Emily: In my opinion, lessons are necessary because trained professionals are going to teach lifesaving skills that little ones need when they're around the water. I just found a group toddler class that is beginning at the end of July and I'm thinking of enrolling The Boy. I'll be excited to watch him swim while receiving instruction, his prior lessons were water babies with me. Although he has lessons at school during the summer months, I can't help but feel that more is better.
Ghada: I was in swimming lessons with my 4 .5 year old when he was a baby, about 6 months and we did 2 rounds and then we stopped. We were living 2 minutes from the beach at the time so he was always in the water. He got spooked after falling off a boogie board with his Dad and was a bit weary for awhile but he's back into the water again. I am not having as much luck finding lessons with my 8 month old. But I definitely think professional lessons are key - if nothing else, it teaches us the parents tricks we would have never known.
New Post!The Mommy Mindset: Just Keep #Swimming goo.gl/fb/56F7N #goofy #kids #mommymindset #summer
— MryJhnsn (@mryjhnsn) June 29, 2012
Thank you for your valuable input Leila of Life as Leels, Emily, Nap Time is My Time, Sarah, East 9th Street, LaVonne, Long Wait For Isabella, Mary, iNeed a Playdate, Emily, Nap Time is My Time, and Ghada of Mama goes BAM.