We love Shrek - it's a Kids Night Out favorite at SwimAmerica! One of the best lines is when Shrek explains misunderstood ogres to Donkey. "Ogres are like onions."
"They stink?" asks Donkey.
"NO! Layers," Shrek yells back.
It's all about peeling back layers to find out Shrek's true character. What's on the surface is just the beginning.
Swim safety works the same way: there are many layers of protection that create the whole picture. Even at SwimAmerica it's easy to see the lifeguard or swim coach at the pool and decide: my child is safe. But that's just the outer layer; just one way we keep our swimmers safer.
As we peel back our safety "onion," we find the swimmers themselves. What are their swim skills? Do they know the limits and boundaries of where they can go? Do they follow directions? Knowing how to swim is an important element of swim safety - yet, it's just one more layer,
Fences, gates, and alarms around pools are another layer of safety. As are life jackets (a real Personal Flotation Device, or PFD, not a floatie toy). But it doesn't stop there. Let's keep peeling.
The next layer we find is the adult in charge of the child. Even though you might feel like you're just the swim taxi, you are extra - and important - eyes on our pool. That's one reason we require parents to stay in the facility and encourage parents to actively watch their child's lesson. At our lessons, we have the swim coach in the water, the Site Supervisor, and the parents in the viewing area providing three layers of supervision.
Consider our safety onion too as you take your child to other pool and water activities: how many layers of safety are there? Are your eyes needed too?
Do you suppose ogres know how to swim?