MONIQUE BATSON — Here’s where you can find swimming lessons, CPR classes for a safer summer

Published 12:05 am Friday, July 1, 2022

Recently when a staff writer was pitching a story idea, I made the comment, “just write about pool safety.”

In newsroom terms, that’s basically saying “is there literally nothing else in the world you can find relevance in?” Do we really need to remind people not to leave kids alone near a body of water?

And then Thursday I saw where the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning asking parents not to use neck floats on children because it could be fatal.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It is popular for some to have their children in pools and floating by the face in the name of water therapy.

This is not the first time the FDA issued a warning that seemed obvious. For instance, don’t drink Lysol to protect against COVID-19. The bottle literally says “hazardous to humans” on the back.

Now I know we’re an instant gratification generation that doesn’t like to read the fine print, but we also created 3-D printers and self-driving cars. Surely we know anything that takes the stains off the bathtub does not pair well with your dinner.

Another recent warning advised people not to store avocados in water in the refrigerator as suggested by a TikTok user because it could lead to salmonella poisoning.

I’m not even going to touch this one. If you’re getting life advice from TikTok, this column isn’t for you.

And now people are putting inflatable doughnuts around babies as young as 2 weeks old to “build neck strength.”

When my children were 2 weeks old, my goal was to get them to sleep for more than an hour at a time. We didn’t start their workout regimen until at least the third month. (Obviously I’m not serious.)

But it would seem, contrary to my statement about pool safety, many do need to be reminded.

First, the YMCA of Southeast Texas provides swimming lessons for all ages. They have parent-child lessons, where parents swim with children from 6 months to 3 years old. And last spring, they began classes for adults.

And now, due to the new agreement between the YMCA and the City of Nederland, swimming lessons are available at the Nederland pool on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Teaching children how to swim is one of the first pool safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Others include:

  • Never leave children unattended in or near water.
  • Teach children to stay away from drains.
  • Ensure all pools and spas on your property and any pool you visit have compliant drain covers.
  • Install barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool or spa.
  • Know how to perform CPR on both children and adults.

By visiting, you can sign up for a multitude of CPR certification classes that can be taken online at your convenience.

While I wrote a majority of this with humor in mind, an average of 4,000 people drown in the U.S. every year, and there is nothing funny about that.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 outside of birth defects.

And it is second only to motor vehicle crashes in causing injury or death to those 1-14.

We’re still early in the scorching hot months of summer, and everyone will be looking for ways to cool off.

Please do so responsibly.


Monique Batson is Port Arthur Newsmedia editor. She can be reached at