I working right now with Parenting Magazine on several summer swim stories as an expert source and author (sorry — under contract to not divulge any details). But I can tell you most magazines are doing the same: Gearing up for choice summer swim pieces.
I’m going to look into my crystal ball and predict what’s going to come out in the media on the topic of swim lessons for kids this summer as well as recommend what topic to stay close to that will benefit you the most.
Pay attention to any debate, detail or discussion around group lessons. With the issue of money and budgets still apparent, there might be more advertising for signing kids up to take group lessons as opposed to private one-on-one. The bigger the ratio, the less the cost is the argument. But the less of a chance a child has of learning vital swim skills, too, when quantity triumphs quality. Just make sure the group fit is right and you have observed the environment and teaching style.
More swim safety plugs. I think parents and editors are putting more of a plug on safety issues easily overlooked. You can learn a lot of tricks that can raise a child with safe and positive pool habits by tuning in to these tips. You’d be surprised at the little things that can give kids a wrong impression about what to do when panicked in the water. For example, if you let kids harmlessly hang onto you when ever they want, what do you think their reaction is going to be when panicked?
Your usual (but terribly sad) drowning story. These tragedies are always plastered across newspaper headlines. Many of them include limited reporting and can be downright misconceiving, scaring the crap out of parents like this one about dry or secondary drownings that I took apart and demystified.
Updated swim studies most media outlets don’t run with. There are very few of us writers out there that follow cutting edge swim news. There was a great article a few years back about the controversy statement the American Academy of Pediatricians made about children not being ready for formalized swim lessons until the age of 4 – but a March 2009 study by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine that found participation in formal swimming lessons was associated with an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in the 1- to 4-year-old children.
One day swimming is going to be a school requirement. It is in most European countries. It is being lobbied for as a new state law in North Carolina by a state representative. I currently assist in teaching the Kindergarten – 2nd grade for the local Lycee Francois or French School students. You might start to see more of this happening in your area.
What do you think? What swim topics do you think the media should cover more?