You can teach a new parent old tricks

Lil’ Swimmers and arm floaties are going swimmingly…

I’ve never been a “sink, or swim”, type of girl; ok, I’ll try to stop, with the cheesy puns, for now (hopefully); but I can’t say enough about arm floaties. The mini life jackets are fine and dandy, with a couple of exceptions. Firstly, I’ve seen two separate kids (out of the four I’ve ever seen wear them), go belly up. That is, they capsized to a point, where, if their parents weren’t right at hand, to help them, the children would have wound up head down, feet up, unable correct their situation, from underwater.

Even when the toddler attached to the life-vest-like apparatus doesn’t sink, I fear that it may engender a false sense of security, in that, your child may take it for granted that s/he will always float, automatically. To me, this just equals scary. With any and all floating devices, an adult and/or advanced and experienced swimmer should be on hand to aid the child using such a device. With the life vest, I fear that my daughter would never really learn how to swim, on top of which, there’s the enormous reluctance to place her in the position to go belly up, ever. With the arm floaties, however, she learns that she can float, while still understanding the specifics, obligations, and laws of physics involved in such an endeavor. She knows she can float, but, she’s also aware that it takes some work, on her part. She sees that it’s not going to ‘just happen’, like magic, and the dangers of swimming remain evident, yet (relatively, anyhow) without risk.

I’ve been called “overprotective”. I’ve been called “strict”. Even, “just plain crazy”. Never, ever, have I been called “reckless”, “careless”, “negligent”, or (worst of all) “abusive”. I may have chest pains and heart palpitations every time my daughter gets into the pool, but, that’s only because I refuse to lose her, to anything, above all, absent-mindedness. I truly cannot stress the issue of water safety enough. It takes a single minute and an inch of water, for a child to die needlessly. There will always be factors in your child’s life that you, as a parent, can never hope to control. Water safety is not, at all, one of them. This particular piece means a great deal to me, due to my own experience (I never learned how to swim), and especially in light of recent headlines. A human life saved, is as simple as being aware. At seeing a negligent parent, I am often prompted to say, “And, the Casey Anthony Award goes to…”. Please, keep an eye out, at your local watering hole, fellow makers of little men and little women.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. NuttyNeuron
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 17:19:09

    You’re not overprotective 🙂 you can never be too careful and being careful really does pay off

    Reply

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