I am writing in response to the letter from Ethel Mullin (Dec. 21) in which she states that swimming lessons will save a lot of child drownings. Although swimming lessons are beneficial, they are by no means a guarantee and in fact may do more harm.
I know of several families who will allow their child (some as young as 3 years old) to swim unattended simply because they have had swimming lessons. A bump to the head, cramps or just panicking won't save the best swimmer, let alone a child.
The main and certainly most important rule is \o7 never\f7 leave a child unattended in a pool, lake, river or any area of water.
If your child is missing or not responding to your calls, check the pool first. Precious moments are lost by hollering down the street after your child when he/she may very well be at the bottom of your pool.
My own 4-year-old son learned to swim before he walked but he is \o7 never \f7 allowed in our pool area (or any part of the backyard) without an adult present. Use the buddy system. No one (adults included) should swim alone.
CATHY E. GARVER