Research & Statistics

24 Jan 2019


We live in a region surrounded by water. Drowning tragedies happen far too often here, and throughout the U.S.  According to DCF Florida, 88 children lost their lives due to drowning in Florida alone in 2018.  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for infants and young children between the ages of 1-4. Survival swim lessons can prevent these tragedies and truly save lives.

As a drowning prevention resource for your family, I  recommend a multi-layered approach towards water safety in your home.


1. Supervision

 ADULT SUPERVISION is the most important line of defense. Aquatic skill at any level cannot take the place of active supervision. If you cannot find your child always look in the water first.


Alarms and locks should be placed on all windows and doors that lead to the pool area.

3. Pool Fences

Ensure the gate of your pool fence is self-locking and that the pool fence is at least 3-5 feet from the edge of the pool.

4. Survival Swim Lessons

If all else fails, survival swim lessons are another vital layer of protection, teaching your child the skills necessary to survive whilst learning in a safe environment.

5. CPR

It is important that parents and other family members learn CPR on children and adults just in case of an emergency. Please remember that hose skills should be updated on a regular bases.



Effective Supervision

• SUPERVISION! SUPERVISION! SUPERVISION! This is the most important line of defense to prevent drowning.

• While watching your child in the pool give them your undivided attention- do not check your phone or get distracted by other adults around you.

• If there are multiple adults around the pool one should be designated as the POOL WATCHER so there is always an adult responsible for watching the pool. This can be segmented into 20 minute increments.

Pool Water
• Aim pool jets and in-floor jets to the shallow end of the pool to help push your child towards the steps if they happen to fall in.
• Keep the water level at the highest point for easy access to the wall for your little ones.
• A cry for help may not be heard over the sound of a loud waterfall.

Pool Fences
• A pool fence with a self locking gate will help against anyone forgetting to close the gate.
• Please ensure all furniture, including children’s larger toys, cannot be easily pushed close to the pool fence and used as a ladder to enter the pool area.

• All windows and doors leading to the pool should be locked and alarmed. Doggy doors can be used to exit the house by curious toddlers, please take all necessary precautions.

• Alarms should sound indicating that someone has opened/closed a window, door, or gate or is trying to climb the fence or is in the pool area.

• Whilst supervising the pool area you should never answer the phone.
• A cell phone should be at the pool at all times for EMERGENCY USE ONLY!!

Pool Toys
•  Discourage curious children from entering the pool area by removing all pool toys from the pool and surrounding areas after swimming.

Educate Friends and Family

• If family/ friends are visiting, educate them about the importance of locking doors, closing gates, emptying larger buckets, and closing the toilet seat, etc.

• Be overly vigilant when hosting family or having parties in the home. It is during these times that there can be a breakdown in  normal supervision.

• The first place a missing child should be looked for is the pool or spa.

Drain Entrapments

Drain Entrapments are a SERIOUS danger.

• Drain covers can become broken, loose or missing and pose a grave threat. If you notice this in a public pool a lifeguard or pool manager should be notified immediately and you should refrain from entering the pool.

• Pools designed specifically for young children and in-ground spas that have single main drain systems and flat drain grates present the highest risk of entrapment.

Information provided by:



16 Jan 2019

Some additional statistics by Emma Grynbal.
Confident toddler swimmer trained in survival swimmingLiving in Tampa Bay, I feel blessed to be surrounded by water. I love that I can raise my kids somewhere where they can swim and enjoy the pool, lake and ocean year-round.As a girl who grew up in the pool with parents who were lifeguards and competitive swimmers, I never had a fear of water or realized its dangers until I grew much older. I learned to swim with my parents so early that I have no memory of the learning process.

Swim Lesson Learned

When my son was born and our family moved to a Florida lake, I knew I wanted and needed him to learn to swim at a young age. But I didn’t know where to start.

When he was around age two, I started taking him to the popular local swim school for weekly lessons. He cried and cried for weeks but I kept at it. I knew the crying was normal but I was frustrated by how little progress he made as weeks and weeks went by. He was distracted by toys and other kids and couldn’t focus on the instruction.

Then, a friend told me about the specialized survival swim lessons her son was taking. At a playdate at her pool, I could see that her two-year-old son had quickly learned valuable survival skills. He didn’t just know how to swim in the shallow water along the steps. He was a confident swimmer, even in deep water.

But at the time, I was uncomfortable with the time commitment of the survival swim lessons. Looking back, I wish I had given it more thought.

Instead, we took a break from swim lessons at age three. Maybe it will go better when he’s a little older, I thought.

But still at age five, it’s something we’re still working on developing to this day.

Why I Love Survival Swim Lessons

When my daughter was born, I knew I had to look into survival swim lessons. I wanted to give her a strong foundation of water safety skills at a young age.

Instead of weekly classes, survival swimming programs provide 10 minutes of customized one-on-one instruction four times per week for about six weeks. I know committing to take your child to an activity four times per week can be tough for many families, but this is not just any activity. It’s a potentially lifesaving, one-time course.

Repetitive techniques teach the child how to get to safety if they were to fall in the water.  They use a swim-float-swim sequence to get to the wall. The repetition of the daily lessons and techniques helps the water safety skills taught to become second nature for the child.

In just six weeks with Ms. Emma’s Swim and Survival Academy in Tampa, my 19-month-old daughter became a smart, safe swimmer who could swim to safety from the middle of the pool. Ms. Emma first taught her to swim to the wall and then to float on her back. Once she was confident with those skills, she put them together. She taught my daughter to swim and then turn to her back to float and rest as she made her way to the wall.


While survival swim lessons are more expensive per week than most traditional swimming lessons, they are short-term programs that develop safe, independent swimmers. They are worth every penny in my opinion.

Don’t Put Off Swim Lessons

We live in a region surrounded by water. Drowning tragedies happen far too often here, and throughout the U.S.  According to DCF Florida, 88 children lost their lives due to drowning in Florida alone in 2018. Drowning is the leading cause of death of 1-4 year olds in Florida.  Survival swim lessons can prevent these tragedies and truly save lives.

Parent vigilance around water will always be critical. But knowing your child also has strong water safety skills provides peace of mind. When you have confidence in swimming, parents and kids alike can more fully enjoy the Florida lifestyle.

It’s never too early or too late to learn to swim and survive!

About Alisha dos Santos

An adventure-seeking mom, Alisha is constantly pursuing new experiences to feed her adventurous soul and encourage a courageous spirit in her two young kids. When she’s not out adventuring with her family, she’s juggling real estate and marketing communications consulting businesses from her home office in Lutz. When life gets hectic, she finds peace on her paddleboard. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa., she always dreamed of living by the water and eagerly dove into the Florida lifestyle in her college years. Join Alisha on a journey to live an adventurous life as a mom at

25 Jan 2018

According to the Center for Disease Control, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.  These heartbreaking stories do not need to happen.  With the proper education and preventative measures, we can reduce this statistic!!!

CDC Report on Unintentional Drownings




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