It’s summer time, which means it’s swim time in Tennessee. In East Tennessee, there are many opportunities to spend time in the water. Seven lakes and several rivers in our area cover over 200,000 acres. There are more than thirty competition swimming pools and hundreds of home and neighborhood pools in Knox and the surrounding counties. Whether spending time on the lake, rafting down a local river, or attending a friend’s pool party, children will be in and around water throughout their childhood. With all this exposure to water, children should learn how to swim. There are several local swim instructors that offer formal swim lessons, and children are never too old to learn. Swimming is an activity that can be enjoyed for a lifetime and that can help children be safer around the water.
Although fall is just around the corner, parents are still concerned about “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning.” I would like to reassure parents that dry drowning, in the fantastical way the media has portrayed it, is not a true entity. Your child will not have an uneventful day playing in the pool, swallow a mouthful of water that causes no respiratory symptoms, and suddenly die 5 days later from a “dry drowning.” Here are a couple links to articles written by emergency room physicians that explore this issue.