Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4 years and the #2 cause of accidental death for children ages 4-14 years.
At Safety Before Skill Swim School, we are dedicated to helping reduce that statistic by increasing the number of people who are enrolled in swim lessons and educating swimmers and parents how to be safer in the water.
Because of this, we have decided to implement a new program into our swim school called Water Smart Babies Rx. Water Smart Babies Rx is a “swim lessons prescription” given to parents at their child’s 9 or 12 month check up.
The Water Smart Babies program began in Arizona under the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and is currently only operating in Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas. We are the third state to offer this program and the only swim school in Arkansas to provide this service.
It may be surprising as to why this program started in Arizona, but Arizona has the highest rate of accidental drownings, despite it being in the desert, because of the many backyard pools.
We believe that this program is needed now more than ever because the American Academy of Pediatrics has finally changed their drown prevention statement after many years of advocacy from recommending swim lessons starting at age 4 years to now recommending swim lessons once the child learns to walk.
We are happy to back this statement and encourage parents to sign up for our Water Smart Babies Rx program. Safety Before Skill’s Water Smart Babies Rx program is a 4 week parent-and-me class for children ages 4 months to 3 years.
We are working with Arkansas Children’s Hospital to print and send booklets with the “prescription” to physicians to give to parents during their child’s 9 or 12 month check up. Some booklets given to needy families include a coupon code to access the program for free. We may be the third state to offer this program, but we are the first swim school to offer these lessons for free! If your child is over 3 years old, but you still would like to try a free lesson, you can use the coupon code TRYIT at checkout for one complimentary lesson per family.
Parents Chelsea and Brian Murphy enjoyed their experience with Safety Before Skill’s Water Smart Babies Rx program. “We both knew the basic stuff, but not as much detail as we know now.” Chelsea said, “I’ve been a swimmer for a really long time, but I didn’t know all of the things I didn’t know. It’s really helped build my confidence in being able to bring my kids in the water more and give me things to actually work on.”
In this program, we emphasize safety above everything else. Parents learn safety skills such as understanding constant and dedicated surveillance, properly fitting and putting a life jacket on a child, using a flotation device to help someone who is in trouble in the water, preventing recreational water illnesses, and becoming familiar with infant and child CPR.
We are very proud to be the only swim school in Arkansas to offer this program and to help reduce the drowning statistics one family at a time!