In a typical residential pool, there is a distance of several inches between the water’s surface and the coping or deck.
“Many, many times, an infant or a young child—even at 2 or 3 years of age—doesn’t have the strength and the coordination to get the hand up out of the water to grab the top of the coping,” explains Dr. Harvey Barnett, founder of Infant Swimming Resource.
The 46-year-old program’s mission is to prevent pediatric drowning through instruction to children as young as 6 months. CrossFit Kids has partnered with the program.
Barnett suggests building an artificial edge on the pool. He begins by placing a watermelon in a pool 30 to 40 times.
“Wherever it habitually ends up is where we’re going to put our artificial edge,” Barnett says.
The artificial edge—which costs about $2—involves PVC pipe, glue and black tape. After it’s built, the artificial edge must be secured so it doesn’t move.
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Additional reading: Not One More Child Drowns: Infant Swimming Resource by Marla Carnes, published Aug. 29, 2011.