Swim safety: Prepare, warn children on water risks

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer and experts say you can’t be too careful around the water this summer. About ten people drown every day in the U.S., according to the CDC. It isn’t always children either. Swim instructors at the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon said you’re never too old to take a swim lesson and make sure you can survive in water, but there is an added responsibility for parents to make sure your kids know the danger that lurks under the surface.

“People just don’t get it,” father Steve Summerlot said. “Just how dangerous this situation can be until it’s too late.”

That’s why Summerlot has his daughter in swimming lessons at the YMCA in Avon.

“It’s always important to be prepared for the water,” Summerlot said.

YMCA instructors focus not only on swimming skills, but survival.

“Being able to get in the water and if they were to fall in to turn around and get themselves back to the side of the pool or the body of water that they’re in. Or be able to float on their back so they can breath or yell for help if they need to,” swim instructor Andrea Ziegler said.

It’s not just big bodies of water parents need to be protective around. Even small inflatable or plastic pools can be dangerous for children. There are warnings printed right on the side and parents should never leave children unattended.

“People need to remember that two feet of water, two inches even, that accidents can happen,” Ziegler said.

Assess your neighborhood and take note if there are retention ponds nearby or if neighbors have a pool and have a conversation with your children about it.

“It’s a fun place where you can really enjoy yourself,” Summerlot said. “But most importantly it can be dangerous at times and what safety measures you can take in order to prevent that from being a major issue.”

For warning signs and tips to stay healthy this summer, click here.