Letter: Swim Safety

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As the summer is upon us, do you feel confident that your child can swim safely? Many water accidents and drownings occur because the child was not adequately trained in swimming and floating skills.

Here are some things to think about:

1. If you own your own pool, make sure it has a properly secured fence around it that is locked when not in use.

2. If you have a pool party, make sure you have a certified lifeguard to supervise the pool.

3. Your child should take a water-safety course to understand how to care for himself/herself in the water—and to be “drownproofed,” a swimming method that teaches how not to panic in the water.

4. Provide lessons or coaching, so the child is able to perform various swimming styles, such as the backstroke, sidestroke or breaststroke.

5. No one should ever swim alone.

6. Only swim when a lifeguard is on duty at a public area.

7. If you have your own pool, make sure it is properly supervised.

8. Never dive in a pool that is not at least 9-feet deep.

9. Learn how to tread water; this skill should be able to be performed for at least three minutes without any effort.

10. Learn how to care for a cramp.

Living on an island, learning to swim is one of the most important things a person should know.

—Rick Amira

Great Neck resident Rick Amira is a retired teacher, water-safety and lifeguard instructor, and USA Swim Coach, who coaches in high school and college. Reach him at SwimCoachUSA@gmail.com.

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