Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 16, 2013/ 9 Menachem-Av, 5773

Drowning in Safety

By Lenore Skenazy



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | At some of the YMCAs around the country, a rule for free swimming is now this: If a child is under a certain age — sometimes as high as 11 — and has not yet passed a swim test, a parent must be in the water with him at all times, not more than an arm's length away, in the shallow end.

And the child must be wearing a life vest.

This is all in the name of safety, of course — except that it constitutes the exact opposite. It is practically guaranteeing that kids do not end up learning how to swim. How could they? Whenever they've got time to practice, they can barely get their head underwater! In fact, a head's going underwater is precisely what a life vest is designed to prevent.

Swim instructors are dismayed by the rule. "It's infuriating!" one, named Cate, wrote to my blog, "Free-Range Kids." "You can't learn to swim with a life jacket on. I taught lessons for years and that's about as basic as it gets. But alas, our Y also 'teaches' kids to swim while wearing a bubble" — an ovular flotation device attached to a belt — "which also doesn't work which is why they have kids in lessons, still wearing bubbles, when they're 6 years old with 5 1/2 years of lessons under their (bubble) belt."


Another Y member — and mom of eight — said she has spoken to the aquatics director about this very issue. "Our whole reason for joining the Y was so that I could teach them to swim. ... (There) is NO WAY we could afford to put the children in lessons. ... The director assures me that their insurance company has required the change and that there is nothing she can do. Meanwhile, all the kids whose parents can afford swim lessons laugh at my 5, 7, & 8 year olds who have to wear life jackets." At the moment, at least one of this mom's kids is now terrified to ever take the safety vest off.

The whole situation is a perfect example of the lawsuit-y slope from real concern down to an extra layer of caution that goes beyond safety into stupidity. Really, can you imagine this rule when you were a kid — children all bobbing around, so protected in the pool that they never got their faces wet?

Clearly, the Y has gone beyond prudence into CYA mode. (Look it up.) If, somehow, anything bad happens, the Y can always say, "We did absolutely everything possible and then some to prevent it!" But it is that very argument that can now be turned on its head (or can do an underwater handstand, which is how I spent my pool youth).

"Sue them for preventing you from teaching your children not to drown, thus putting (children's) lives at risk," suggested commenter J.T. Wenting on my blog. "Make it a class action lawsuit." Remind the Y that "if it saves even one child's life it's worth it."

When an institution goes overboard with safety, we can't stand idly by. It's time to jump in and save it from itself.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Lenore Skenazy's column by clicking here.

Lenore Skenazy Archives

© 2013, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast