Local community college gives swimming safety tips
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Summertime is in full swing now so many families may be searching for a pool or lake to beat the heat, but keep swimming safety in mind.
Wade Heggie, the fitness director at the Damon Fitness Center at Meridian Community College, shared some swimming safety tips.
“Kids can drown within a short amount of time, a minute or less, so we want to make sure that when you do go to facilities, the lifeguards are there and they are watching the pool. But (you) but also want to make sure the parents are taking a watch also. If it is really hot out there, we really don’t need to go out there too much,” said Heggie.
“We want to make sure you never go out there and swim alone. So, you what to make sure we always have a buddy out there. We want to be careful out there in the sun so the hours between 10 to 4, we want to be really concerning with us,” said Heggie.
Mary Coleman, who is a certified swim instructor herself, brings her granddaughter to the pool to swim. She said swimming is an important skill to learn at a young age.
“The age groups that has the most as far as drowning or injury from drowning is between one and four. So, it’s so important to start with them at such a young age to not fear the water but respect the water and know how to handle themselves in the water,” said Coleman.
Coleman said she encourages parents to take their kids to a pool so they can learn how to swim.
“I think it would be good to do some swimming lessons. If parents have a fear of the water, like I said, their children get that fear; the parents are not going to take them in water. But when you find a place where they can take lessons, break that fear, then I strongly suggest that they do that,” said Coleman.
MCC wants people to enjoy their day in the water but remember to keep safety a top priority.
This year Meridian Community College was not able to offer swim lessons to children because of a shortage of swim instructors.
The college does recommend that kids learn to swim at an early age and advises families to only hire certified swim teachers.
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