SUBMITTED BY: ABIGAIL GERARD, ARC SCRIPPS HOWARD INTERN
“When life get’s you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!” That’s my favorite part of the Disney movie ‘Finding Nemo’. It’s a great philosophical lesson but what happens when you can’t physically swim, like myself. I almost drowned in my aunt’s pool when I was seven years old and have had a fear of water ever since. I own a pool now but find peace only in the shallow 3 feet or less area, giving my 5 foot stature plenty of room to breathe. However, the pool and many other water activities are social events and others who may be experienced swimmers can easily get carried away among those less knowledgeable.
Yesterday two brothers, ages 8 and 10, were rescued by neighbors after drowning in a family pool. More than a third of people planning to swim, boat or fish this summer cannot swim well, according to a new national survey by the American Red Cross. Nearly 8 in 10 households (78 percent) are planning at least one water-related recreational activity. However, 37 percent described their swimming skills as fair, lacking or nonexistent – including 13 percent unable to swim at all, the Red Cross survey found.
Today, I spent the morning at the Cincinnati Recreation Center (Mt. Auburn Center) with the students of the Lifeguard Instruction Course taught by American Red Cross aquatic officials. The Cincinnati Red Cross offers several classes from basic swimming lessons to certified lifeguard training to ensure water safety. Below are links to water safety tips from the American Red Cross and the links to the courses offered. Have a fun and safe summer!