Remember water safety ahead of summer

Remember water safety ahead of summer
William Holt (Source: WALB)
William Holt (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - With summer only a couple of weeks away, swimming pools throughout South Georgia will be overflowing with children.

One organization wants to offer you some ideas on how to keep your kids safe around the water.

The heat is picking up around South Georgia, which is leading kids to be drawn to bodies of water such as pools, lakes and beaches.

But after at least two accidental drownings connected to Lowndes County within the last month, Aquatics Supervisor William Holt with the Boys & Girls Club of Valdosta wants to remind both beginners and experienced swimmers of some basic rules when planning activities around the water.

"Everybody needs to work on their swimming. Like if you're not very good at swimming, find help," said Holt.

Holt said that it does not matter how familiar you are with the water, you should always be alert and comfortable.

"Be cautious, be on the safe side, don't try anything you haven't or are not used to, stay in your comfort zone. So like if you go to the ocean, don't go too far out, or the lake, don't go too far out, just stay in your comfort zone," explained Holt.

When you are around pools, Holt said that you should find water-related activities to cut down on horse-playing.

"We try to improvise and have things like our basketball goal and that kind of stuff, so they can play with something other than having to hang on to people, wrestling and stuff like that," said Holt.

Holt recently returned from the Michael Phelps Foundation Swimming Conference which helped refresh his skills to teach others. In doing so, he said you can never be too safe.

"Please be cautious. If you're going to a lake or a river, wear a personal flotation device, any life vest. If you have kids, small or big, keep an eye on them because anything can happen to them in the blink of an eye," Holt explained.

Holt reiterated that parents should take the time to help kids get acclimated to the water.

The more comfortable they are, the better prepared they will be when participating in water-related activities.

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