Swimming and Children
Recently we have been very much aware of the stranded Thailand boys in the flooded cave. I have just read some criticism of parents who have children who cannot swim, which is the case with most of the boys now stranded in the cave system.
We must be aware that swimming instruction needs to be done in a comfortable water environment such as a pool or lake, not in a river with currents or in the sea where there are pounding waves. Many in poorer Countries or in isolated inland areas do not have access to such facilities. Even if they are near water, the conditions could dangerous for many reasons, especially in tropical climates.
When I was a child in the early 50’s, in Britain, public pools were rare; waves at the seaside could be rough and you would have to be near anyway to enjoy these places regularly…we take our transportation for granted today. I did not learn to swim until I was 12, and then only because our school had a small pool.
Most parents would dearly love their children to be able to swim as early as possible but a luxury such as this is often illusive to many. So, I say to the critics of such parents that we should all be more sensitive.