Judy Smith is helping her four-year old daughter, Lydia, learn some basic skills in the water. A few years ago, Lydia had a close call, while playing with her brother and sister in the pool. Smith says Lydia was standing on the steps next to her. Smith was distracted by her other children, who were jumping in the water. When she glanced back down, she saw Lydia faced down in the water. Smith was terrified to know how fast her life could change.
Leisa Havis also enrolled her son, Devin, in the swimming program at the Biloxi Natatorium. She doesn't know how to swim, so she is often worried whenever Devin is near the water. Havis says they enjoy going out on the boat, but because she has a fear of the water, she always wears her life jacket. Havis says she doesn't want her son to have that same fear.
Havis and other parents hope by enrolling their kids in swimming classes, they can prevent any tragedies from happening. Havis says she needs to do something for her child now to make sure that doesn't happen to him.
Biloxi Aquatic Director Kevin Stanton says there are always risks while you're swimming. But, as long as you know your environment, and take the necessary precautions, you shouldn't have any problems in the water and it could be a lot of fun.
Here are some tips to keep your children safe in the water:
- Watch them carefully anytime they are near the water.
- Make sure they wear life jackets, especially if they can't swim.
- Never let them swim alone.
- Don't let them swim after eating a large meal, because they can get cramps or lose their energy.