The Olympic swimmer (and mother) tells you how to keep your family safe while swimming this summer.
Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Janet Evans, has signed on to be an ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation and their national "Make a Splash" water safety initiative. As the new "Make a Splash Mom" and a mother of two, Janet understands the importance of teaching children to swim and has dedicated her work to furthering the cause of promoting baby safety and battling childhood drowning.
Janet chats about the importance of learning to swim and how the USA Swimming Foundation is working to decrease drowning rates among children through their Make a Splash initiative.
Tell us about your role as ambassador for the USA Swimming Foundation.
Janet Evans: As a USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador and Make a Splash mom, my goal is to encourage parents to enroll their children in swim lessons. Drowning is an epidemic in this country. It crosses all socioeconomic levels and the statistics are staggering—an average of 10 drowning deaths are reported each day in the United States. Make a Splash also focuses on providing free and/or low cost swim lessons to those who might not have access or expendable finances for lessons. Every child (and adult!) in this country needs to know how to swim and feel comfortable in the water. I am proud of the USA Swimming Foundation for taking an active role in teaching children how to save their own lives and am honored to be a part of it.
What inspired you to join the initiative?
JE: I am the mom of two young children and live in Southern California. Even before I had children, I would read about drownings in and around our county. My parents put my brothers and I in swim lessons when I was very young (18 months) because my mom can't swim. The gift my parents gave us of teaching us how to swim was not taken for granted, and I committed to get my children swimming as early as I felt comfortable. Swimming is both a life skill and a lifesaving skill. I don't see it as a luxury, I view it as an imperative.
What are some of your top life-saving tips to protect children from drowning?
JE: My number one tip is to get your kids accredited swim instruction. The risk of drowning is reduced by 88 percent when children take formal swim lessons. Not far behind is a reminder to never take your eyes off your children while they're in water, even if you think they are water safe. No one is completely secure around the water, as accidents happen, where even the best swimmers can run into trouble. Similarly, do not depend on lifeguards. While they're well trained and proficient, they might be watching dozens of kids in a pool at one time. Drowning is silent. It happens in two minutes and can easily be missed in a crowded pool. Also, please install a self-closing gate if you have a backyard pool and/or jacuzzi, and learn CPR.
Visit CelebrityBabyScoop.com for the full story: Olympic Swimmer and Mom Janet Evans Gives Life Saving Tips
By Lisa Weber
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