Attorney Lindsay Rakers Encourages Swimming Classes for Children

Golf, tennis, gymnastics, soccer, dance – I remember being involved in all kinds of activities as I was growing up. I think most parents enroll their kids in these activities to make sure their kids are socialized and not glued to the television all the time. I find myself doing the same thing with my two young girls. We have enrolled them in several individual and group activities to keep them active and to try to find something that they enjoy doing outside of the house.

As a parent, I think that it is important to not just keep your kids busy but to also keep them safe. A few years ago, I discovered Little Fishes and immediately enrolled my girls in swimming classes. While the swim classes do the same thing that the other activities do, keep the kids busy and active, the swimming classes also teach my children to respect water.

We enrolled my oldest daughter in swim classes when she was just eight months old. She is not at all frightened of water now, even though she used to be.  But the most important thing that has come from the swim classes is that she knows how to get to the side of the pool if she ever finds herself in the water and needing help. She's also learned to respect water and understands how dangerous it can be. We constantly reinforce how important it is to realize that even if you are a good swimmer, water can be dangerous. I enjoyed the early swim classes with my daughter when I was required to get in the water with her, which provided for some quality mother and daughter time. I've watched her grow and get stronger and stronger in these classes. Little Fishes does a great job of making the class fun and also keeping it short enough so that the kids pay attention for the entire time.

When summertime approaches, many people think of vacations and swimming in lakes and pools. It is at this time that most parents start thinking about teaching their kids to swim. But I believe that learning to swim is a skill that should be taught and reinforced year-round. As a Missouri and Illinois injury attorney, I unfortunately learn firsthand about many child related injuries including drownings in swimming pools, lakes and even bathtubs. Kids are naturally attracted to the water. It is important to teach children to never go near water without an adult present. Many drownings in the United States occur from kids accidentally falling into water as opposed to purposely entering the water without their parents present. We hear stories in the media about kids falling into lakes, ponds, rivers, and even the neighbor's swimming pool. It's common to find these stories tragic but also to think that it will never happen to you. Unfortunately, water-related accidents do happen and we should arm our children with the skills they need to stay safe.

By Lindsay Rakers, Mom and Injury Attorney at Hefner, Eberspacher & Tapella, LLC, in O'Fallon, Illinois.