Drowning: leading cause of death 1 to 4-years-old; local swim instructors talk safety

BOWING GREEN, Ky. – The number one cause of death for children ages one through four is drowning. 

a scary statistic when many of you are opening your pools up this time of year.

It takes less than 30 seconds for a child to drown. This is a fear that husband and wife Christian and Shelly Griffin experienced once with their infant daughter.

Christian recalled, “We were on vacation, and she fell in. She rolled over to float [from previous swim instruction]. I thought, ‘That’s for real. That’s good stuff.'”

Both husband and wife became certified Infant Swimming Resource instructors.

“I wanted to make sure all our kids were safe around the water and knew how to self rescue if they fell in,” said Shelly as she taught class in the pool. “[The kids we teach have] done a really good job. Made me proud.”

The couple focuses on floating and self rescue techniques for kids around one to six-years-old.

“We teach kids to respect the water first,” said Christian. We teach kids to survive. We teach breath control. You’d be surprised how many kids don’t know how to close their mouths when they go underwater.”

Christian says most kids scream and cry at the beginning of swimming lessons, but it doesn’t last long.

“Throughout the process, they start to trust us…We become friends. They love us. They talk about swimming everyday, and they want to come to lessons.”

As much as the couple wants all kids to learn to swim, they say barriers around the pool and constant supervision are precautions that pool owners must take.

“If you can’t get to the lessons, then you need to make sure you have all the other layers of protection in place,” said Christian.