Nampa program highlights importance of educating young children about water safety

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 19:20:37-04

NAMPA — Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for kids and a common concern for parents in the summertime.

"I just have so many concerns about their safety that I wanted to introduce him at an early age so that he was comfortable with the water," said Megan Mulconery Irby, parent of 19-month-old Casen.

One way to help prevent drownings is teaching water safety at a young age. The Nampa Rec Center already has 1500 children enrolled for summer swim lessons, starting as young as six months. Some of the kids like 19 Casen go to the Rec Center for their very first water lesson.

"He kind of has a little bit of fear, so I want to try to let him know it's not scary, its something that's fun (and) we can enjoy," said Irby.

Drowning isn't typically the loud, active scene you might imagine. Often, it's silent and fast- only taking a child 15 seconds before they slip under.

"Water safety, in general, is big and it's scary," said aquatics supervisor for the City of Nampa Brady White ,"The idea behind it is the more you can have conversations about what's safe what's not safe, what pools you go into on a shallow depth versus a deep depth, cold water and life-jackets, it/s really, again, laying that foundation early."

The classes for the youngest swimmers are designed to teach the basics, like floating, kicking, and blowing bubbles. Having parents in the water helps them understand it's a safe learning environment to explore, to prepare them for more severe situations, which hopefully never come up.

"I mean, even if mom and dad are there, I want him to know what do I do in this situation and to continue the lessons to kind of just ingraining that in his memory, so he grows up knowing the safety of the water," said Irby.