The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a warning for an increased threat of drowning because children haven’t been swimming actively since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
The pandemic has forced many recreation centers and swim instructors to cancel or curtail the offering of swimming lessons.
Samantha Colein, general manager of Goldfish Swim School in Silver Spring, Maryland, which teaches children 4 months to 12 years old swimming lessons, told WTTG-TV (Channel 5) that after a year at less than 50% capacity, she is concerned for families this summer.
“If you can’t swim, it’s even more important for your child to know how to swim, that’s why we have these lessons we want everyone to be safe in and around the water,” Colein said, WTTG reported.
Bonnie Alcid, owner of the British Swim School in Rockville, Maryland, which teaches classes for both children and adults, said the recent drowning deaths of a father and daughter in Charles County “are devastating” and said it is never too late to swim. She said one of her students starting swimming lessons at age 92.
Both Colein and Alcid encouraged families to learn about water safety and designate a “water guard” who will keep an eye on swimmers, WTTG reported.