KSN/KODE — It’s a skill necessary for survival: swimming. But knowing how to swim isn’t always enough to keep someone – especially children, safe in the water.
“A kid who knows how to swim can have a medical event, or get tired, or someone else can grab onto them. Water safety is not achieved by doing or learning one thing,” said Natalie Livingston, Co-Founder and Owner of ALIVE Solutions.
ALIVE Solutions is an aquatic safety and advocacy company. Their team of experts has spent decades as lifeguards, advocating for water safety, and investigating drownings.
“It should not be a ‘set it and forget it’ approach,” Livingston adds. “Water safety needs to be an ongoing development and adaptation of skills that we are continually learning and applying.”
She says that many people think once their kid has learned to swim, they’re job is done and parents can supervise. However, that approach is flawed. Even supervisors can get distracted, not have the correct knowledge of what to look for, not have the skills to rescue someone or have a medical event themselves.
“Most parents don’t think it will happen to them, or they are too trusting. We are all human and have limitations, can have medical events, can get tired, we are curious, we are distractable…it is all a battle against water,” she adds.
Livingston shares some uncommon tips to help parents ensure water safety.
“Make sure you know how to get away, teach kids depth vs. height, understand drowning care first starts with air, limited trust with others supervising around the water, and if you are supervising—keep a floatation device with you,” she said.
Livingston also emphasizes designated swim time and breaks.
“It has to be a multi-layered approach that is ongoing and never stops,” she adds.