There have been some tragic drownings already this summer across the country. Olympic skier Bode Miller’s 19 month old daughter drowned in a pool over the weekend.
We stopped by the Midco Aquatic Center for some advice on keeping your little ones safe around the water.
“If there’s one thing I would tell any new parent, teach your kids how to swim,” said Jean Pearson, Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Recreational Program Coordinator.
Jean Pearson with Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation has a lot of experience training lifeguards and overseeing the outdoor and indoor pools. She says rules are in place to protect your child’s life. That’s why in all city pools, you have to keep any kids under seven years old within reach.
“Yes, all of our pools do have certified lifeguards, but we appreciate those parents and those guardians and those caregivers of those littler children that, you know, they’re fast! And they get away, and things can happen and by having that additional supervision, that’s only going to help prevent something tragic from happening,” said Pearson.
Sioux Falls Parks and Rec offer swim lessons during the summer for kids as young as infants, and kids with special needs. Pearson says the weekly rate is worth the return.
“I mean, teaching a lifesaving skill for $20? Definitely pays for itself,” said Pearson.
A skill the kids are excited to show off to family and friends, and their teachers are even more excited to witness.
“It’s a proud moment when not only for kids, but for us when we see those kids advancing and learning those skills and becoming proficient. And knowing that they know how to safely recreate in water,” said Pearson.
There are a few different groups in town teaching lessons this summer.
EMBE and Augustana University also offer swim lessons for kids.