Summer swimming safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Summer swimming safety

Albany- Swimming pools and lakes are empty, but will soon be filled with young swimmers. With the swimming season, also comes the danger of swimming related accidents.

"The most important thing is supervised swimming, no one should swim unless they're completely supervised," said Dr. Wilburn Campbell, ASU Chairman of Physical Education.

A group of students has spent the last two weekends working on their lifeguard certification to protect young kids at play.

"There's a victim in the water and they're drowning. They don't have a head neck or back injury and you just have to get them to the surface and to the side of the pool," said Mallory Sims, lifeguard.

They say when it comes to water safety, prevention is key.

"The most important tip is prevention, being aware of the rules and trying to prevent the kids from getting themselves into a harmful situation," said Kenyan Connor, lifeguard.

Most pools have rules posted and signs along the deck should not be ignored.

"The number one factor to be concerned about is back, neck, and spine injuries. This happens when people dive into shallow water of a swimming pool or dive into unknown water," said Campbell.

If you're swimming at a lake or pond without a life guard and there's trouble, you shouldn't get in the water.

"The buddy should not attempt a swimming rescue unless they are trained," said Campbell.

There are things you can do to help. "Using flotation devices, reaching out for assistance, throwing for assistance, those type of things are really critical," said Campbell.

The most important lesson is if you can't swim, don't get in.

"Kids that don't know how to swim, I advise them to stay away from the water until they go and get a swim class," said Connor.

There are more injury related accidents than drowning in the United States. On average, over 10 thousand swimmers receive head, neck and spine injuries, compared to nearly seven thousand drowning.

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