CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The warmer summer months are approaching and many children across the Lowcountry will spend their days cooling off with a dip in the pool or at the beach.

One swim school in the Charleston area is offering survival-first skills to ensure your child stays safe while enjoying the water.

Public health experts in the United States note that more children – aged one through four – die from drowning than any other cause of death. It’s a statistic backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which says drowning is the leading cause of death for children.

Joscelyn Jones is teaching her three-and-a-half-year-old child, Felicity Jones, water survival skills through the British Swim School of Charleston.

“I feel like learning how to swim is one of the most important lifelong skills that you can have,” said Joscelyn.

Owner of the swim school franchise, Bryan Cook, said he nearly drowned as a child in a friend’s backyard swimming pool and understands why learning these life-saving skills are so important.

“There were a lot of families over. Everybody was distracted. I was out swimming in the water, and my brother somehow came out farther than he could … but he panicked and nobody noticed,” Cook recalled. “I tried to get in and immediately he clasped onto me- just being the only thing he could grab onto- and immediately both of us started going down.”

And while children are at a higher risk for drowning, it can happen to anyone.

The CDC gives startling numbers, reporting an average of 11 drownings per day with an estimated 4,000 unintentional drownings every year in the United States.

“Statistically speaking, over 80% of drownings happen within five minutes of being seen by an adult to being found drowned in the water. So, here at British Swim School, we really focus on anything you can do to reduce those minutes and seconds in that time range,” said Cook.

Simply said, learning how to swim is one of the best ways to prevent drownings from potentially happening.

“I really just learned how much she can actually do. I feel like when they’re little they can only do a little bit, but she can do so much more than I could have imagined,” said Joscelyn.

The British Swim School provided the following tips to help stay safe when it comes to the water:

  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Actively supervise children whenever around the water.
  • Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
  • Reach or throw aid to distressed swimmers – don’t go!
  • Learn how to identify a distressed swimmer and the basis of CPR.
  • When struggling in the water, rest your muscles by floating on your back.
  • Keep toys not in use away from the pool and out of sight.
  • Have inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.
  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub.
  • Sign up for survival-based swimming lessons.