A day at the pool can turn deadly - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A day at the pool can turn deadly

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By Ryan Houston - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Statistics show that drownings and near drownings are in the top ten leading causes of death. And we've already had at least six in southwest Georgia. Officials say the earlier kids learn how to swim, the better off they'll be in the long run.

The YMCA has swim classes for babies 6 months all the way to adults. One particular class is called 'Moms, Pops, and Tots.' It helps parents and kids get use to swimming together. And it takes away the fear most kids have about water.

For some people, swimming comes second nature. "I swim good, I was in the Navy and I had to know how to swim," said Father Hector Rodriguez. 

And that's why he finds it very important for his son to learn. "First of all the social aspect of it,but I definitely want him to learn how to swim," said Rodriguez. This past weekend, two teenagers were rescued from a Regency Inn pool.

They were found non responsive and given CPR. "I just couldn't imagine anything like that happening," said Rodriguez. So teaching kids to swim has been Terri Coleman's life mission. "I have been a life guard since I was 22 years old," said Coleman. 

She's seen first hand what the water can do to kids who don't know how to swim. "I've never had to pull anyone out who was actively drowning but, I have had to do several assist's," said Coleman.

Her best advice is if you are a non-swimmer and you see someone having trouble throw them a rope and pull them out. "If they're not a good swimmer they should never let the water go above their head," said Coleman. Also swimmers should be aware of any signs that are posted at the pool.

"I think it's very important for all pools to have a life guard on staff, even if it's not a deep pool,"  said Coleman.

"Initially, I think it's the parent's responsibility. And I always know where my kids are at," said Rodriguez.

Remember swimming can be fun but turn deadly at any given time. YMCA swim classes are Monday Tuesday,Thursday , and Saturday. Now the fees vary.

On Tuesday and Thursday, classes for members it's $30 monthly. For nonmembers it's a little higher at $55.

Now the Y does offer financial assistance for people who can't pay when money is available. Assistance is offered on a need basis. To apply go to YMCA and fill out a scholarship application.

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