Experts emphasize adult water safety, swim knowledge as more people flock to pools

“We’ve been here since it opened,” Kettering resident Nick Cordray told News Center 7’s Monica Castro.

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Cordray also said he’s a “decent swimmer” because of the swim lessons he took as a kid, but many adults are not. According to a study done by the American Red Cross in 2014, 54 percent of Americans can’t swim.

Kettering Aquatics Director Becky Grushon said adults don’t often take lessons. 

“If there is any fear or embarrassment for something they don’t already know that can be an issue,” she said.

Earlier this week, a 33-year-old man drowned in a pond near Action Sports Complex in Dayton. While it is unclear whether the victim could swim or had some other water mishap, many drownings can be prevented by taking swim lessons.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you can no longer swim, Grushon suggests floating.

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“Take a deep breath, tilt your head back and relax. Relax your muscles so they fill with the oxygen that you are breathing. Your face is out of the water, just lay there and be calm,” Grushon said.

This is one of the maneuvers taught in swim lessons, Cordray encourages adults to take the time to learn.

“Anytime you are swimming, you need to understand the safety issues and precautions and know what your capabilities are,” Cordray said.

Grushon also stressed the importance of always having a life jacket if you are visiting a lake.

WATER SMARTS

The American Red Cross suggests these sensible precautions when you’re around water (even if you’re not planning to swim):  

  • Know your limitations, including physical fitness, medical conditions. 
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present. 
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill. 
  • Swim sober.

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