Learn To Swim & Water Safety
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Trinidad and Tobago Holistic Aquatics Academy’s (TTHAA) Water Safety Program
TTHAA Water Safety Program provides knowledge sharing, educational opportunities and community outreach events to children and families on water safety and drowning prevention. Our program aims to decrease water-related injuries and drowning and improve the health, safety and well-being of children and adults in communities.
Why are water safety and drowning prevention so important?
- Drowning is usually silent, happening without a sound. There is no splashing or screaming as we see in the movies. Minutes matter when someone is submerged. Within two minutes under the water, a person will lose consciousness. Brain damage begins in brain tissue after three to five minutes without oxygen. Most individuals who die from a drowning event are found after missing ten minutes or more.
- Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional injury and death for children under the age of 14 years—research has shown that more children die from water-related injuries than from motor vehicle crashes.
- Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between 1-14.
Did you know?
- The consequences can be devastating for children who survive a significant, nonfatal drowning event, and survivors often suffer a severe and permanent lifelong neurological disability.
- Active adult supervision can prevent a water-related incident’s long-lasting psychological and emotional trauma. Watching your kids near water prevents injury. Cell phones and electronic devices are the biggest threats to adult supervision. It is too easy to become distracted and lose track of time while on them. A cell phone tucked away (but ready for an emergency) is the best way to provide active adult supervision around water. Your watchful eye keeps them safe.
· Older adults may have an increased risk of drowning due to the following:
- Swimming skills may have declined over time, mainly when these skills have not been practised or maintained. Therefore, the older adult’s perceived swimming ability may differ from the person’s current swimming skill level.
- Older adults may become fatigued more quickly whilst swimming.
- Teenagers most commonly drown in rivers and seas. Often, they overestimate their swimming skills. They still need adult supervision and swimming but include swimming with a buddy as best practice.
- A toddler can drown at a picnic without a swimming pool simply by reaching into a plastic tub of beverages with an inch of melted ice at the bottom and falling head-first into the tub.
The ABCs of Water Safety
A – Active adult supervision (include “touch supervision” if the child is under five years old.
B – Barriers such as pool fencing and locked doors
C – Classes such as swimming lessons and courses in CPR
Water Safety Tips
In the house:
- Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub, even to answer the door or phone.
- Keep toilet lids shut and use toilet locks in homes with infants or toddlers.
- When mopping floors, place the bucket in a sink if you have small children in the home that are learning to walk. They are curious by nature and want to see what is in the bucket sitting on the floor. Because they are “top heavy,” they will do so head first if they fall into the bucket. Small children do not have the coordination to push their heads back out of the water. If cleaning agents are in the bucket, additional complications can occur—always store buckets up and out of the minor child’s reach.
In the yard:
- Prevent children from having direct access to a swimming pool. A four-sided isolation fence surrounding the pool is the best investment barrier! Having your house as the fourth side of the fence protects your neighbours, not your children unless you have additional barriers.
- Choose a “designated water watcher” when your children are in or near water. This supervising adult should always maintain constant visual contact with children, avoiding all distracting activities while watching the children. Interchange your water watcher adult with another responsible adult every 15-30 minutes to alert those watching.
- Store buckets inside and out of your home as well as kiddie pools emptied and upside down. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- Avoid using air-filled toys as swimming support. They are not life jackets. Floating toys give a false sense of security and can significantly increase the risk of drowning. This includes water wings or “floaties.”
Water safety interventions should be based on a child’s specific developmental stage. This includes when to start your child in swimming lessons.
“Learning to swim is a great family activity,” said Dr. Quan. “Families can talk with their paediatrician about whether their child is developmentally ready for swim lessons and then look for a program with experienced, well-trained instructors. Ideally, programs should teach ‘water competency’ too – the ability to get out of the water if your child ends up in the water unexpectedly.”
- Trinidad and Tobago Holistic Aquatics Academy offers learn-to-swim and water safety programs for people of all ages.
- It is never too late to learn how to swim if you are an adult or an older adult.
- Please click the link below to enrol in one of our programs.
Our Learn-To-Swim Schedule
Click here to complete our registration form.