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Make Water Safety a Priority

Renee Eder on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Can you believe that in a few short weeks outdoor pools will be open? I have to admit that during those hot and humid days, I can't wait to plunge into the pool. Many children and adults feel the same way. But what happens if you can't swim?

Most water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing how to stay safe and learning to swim. When it comes to  learning to swim, at the J, we've got you covered. What are some other swimming smarts you should follow?

  • Buddy up: Always swim with a partner. Even experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps, which may make it difficult to get out of the water. When people swim together, they can help each other or go for help in case of an emergency.
  • Learn life-saving skills, such as CPR and rescue techniques:  A number of organizations offer free classes for both beginning and experienced swimmers, including the Red Cross.
  • Know your limits: Swimming can be a lot of fun — and you may want to stay in the water as long as possible. If you're not an experienced swimmer, don't go in water that's so deep you can't touch the bottom and don't try to keep up with more skilled swimmers.
  • If you are a skilled swimmer and have had lessons, keep an eye on friends who aren't as comfortable or as proficient as you are. If it seems like they (or you) are getting tired or a little uneasy, suggest that you take a break from swimming for a while.
  • Swim in safe areas only: It's a good idea to swim only in places that are supervised by a lifeguard. In the event that something does go wrong, lifeguards are trained in rescue techniques.
  • Swimming in an open body of water (like a river, lake, or ocean) is different from swimming in a pool. You need more energy to handle the currents and other changing conditions in the open water.
  • Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail.
  • Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
  • If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
  • Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.

At the J, we offer specialized and intensive one-on-one and group swim instruction for people of all ages and levels of ability. In addition, we offer an adapted aquatics program that is designed for individuals of all ages with special needs.  Learn more and sign up for swimming lessons at the J. Can't wait to see you at the pool!

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