Monday, 19th April 2021

This Month's Magazine
Children & Swimming Pool Accidents

Children & Swimming Pool Accidents

More than three-quarters of children who drown in swimming pools are out of sight for less than five minutes

Summer is coming and, with the weather warming up nicely, our thoughts turn to images of barbeques, beach outings and lounging by the pool as the kids splash around in the water.  Perfectly safe, when there are adults on hand, keeping an eye on their offspring but the fact is that most drowning accidents happen right under the noses of adults who think children are being adequately supervised.

Many parents do not realise that young children tend not to splash or make a noise when they get into trouble in the water and frequently drown soundlessly. It takes only a few minutes for a child to drown. What usually happens in a drowning is that the victim inhales water, which causes a spasm of the airway, preventing them from calling out or inhaling air or more water.
More than three-quarters of children who drown in swimming pools are out of sight for less than five minutes.

Unfortunately, you cannot keep children away from water; they are irresistibly attracted to it.  It’s hard to remember that something so enjoyable can also be deadly but a child can drown in two minutes and for every drowning, an additional five near-drowning cases are treated in the emergency room.  Irreversible brain damage occurs in three to five minutes!

There is no way to drown-proof your child, but there are many preventative methods to reduce the risk and the first is to make sure your child is taught to swim. The age at which children should be taught to swim is between four and five years old. Secondly, never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a “designated watcher” to protect young children from pool accidents.

Thirdly, and also most important, LEARN CPR.  If the unthinkable should happen, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver. 


Here in Spain, most swimming pools are outdoors and lessons are restricted to the months of June, July, August and September. However, at Mayfair International Academy, pupils are already having weekly swimming lessons, in the indoor heated pool, with a fully qualified ASA swimming coach and they are working towards their water skills and swimming challenge certificates. The Academy follows the ASA Awards Scheme, sponsored by Kelloggs, which is, by far, the most successful ever in British Sport with close to 2 million certificates and badges issued to children all over the world last year alone. Swimming awards range from complete beginner (level 1) through to an advanced (level 12) for swimmers who wish to develop their swimming in a competitive environment. 

Swimming is also offered as an extra curricular activity, as is First Aid for all pupils from Primary through to Sixth Form. Mayfair Academy is affiliated to Heartstart UK and students on the sports curriculum are automatically given ELS (Emergency Life Support Training) as part of the course.  However, pupils as young as four or five can be given basic instruction on how to call emergency services and accident prevention as an introduction to ELS.  Through Heartstart UK, Mayfair Academy aims to provide opportunities for all pupils in the Academy to learn these vital skills by promoting and supporting ELS training throughout the Academy.

Mayfair International Academy offers full time and continuous education for children from the age of four through to eighteen (Upper Sixth Form) with a choice of curriculum from Year Ten onwards.  Qualifications offered include GCSE, IGCSE and A Level with either Cambridge or AQA examination boards, AQA Unit Awards and NVQs in Health and Fitness.  Mayfair Academy is also affiliated to BAWLA (British Amateur Weight Lifters Association) and is an authorised centre for the International Award (Duke of Edinburgh Award) and an approved assessment centre for the CSLA (Community Sports Leader Award).

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