Would you let your kids swim alone and unsupervised?
The results of a new survey done by the University of Michigan may shock you. 37% of parents said they’d let their kids swim alone, without any adult supervision in a swimming pool at their home, in their neighborhood, or at a hotel.
“When it’s involved with water and a pool and any sort of safety, you need to be a helicopter parent and watch your child,” said Mom, Lynsey McGuinness who made sure both her kids received swim instruction from an early age.
The survey polled a diverse group of more than 1,500 parents with kids ages 6-18. The survey suggests that parents have a false sense of security around swimming pools. Only 16 and 13% of parents would allow their kids to swim unsupervised in a lake or the ocean, respectively, pointing to parents thinking pools are safer than natural bodies of water.
The study also found, 45% of parents who had children who could swim on their own, felt safe letting their kids swim unsupervised in the pool. Only 14% of parents who had kids that couldn’t swim alone felt ok with having their kids swim alone.
“It’s actually the second leading cause of death for kids ages 5-14,” said Ryan Miller, a YMCA Swim Instructor.
Every year, about 1,000 kids in the United States, under the age of 15, are killed in drowning accidents.
“Even if they are swimmers, parents will leave their kids at a pool unattended, which as an aquatics director is really scary. Even the best swimmers can find themselves in trouble from time to time,” said Miller.
Swimming skills aren’t accident proof. Miller says no amount of instruction can guarantee your child’s safety inside the swimming pool.
“They can be great swimmers but they can still find themselves in trouble simply because they can get tired or maybe they swallow water so all kinds of things can happen,” he said.