Sports & Fitness

Water Safety Tips for Parents and Kids

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In recognition of the popularity of swimming and the need for ongoing public education on safer water practices, the month of May 2012 is National Water Safety Month! With the opening of all Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) pools on May 26, it is important that the public be reminded of ways to protect and prepare for the upcoming swim season. Through various swim classes, public service announcements and distribution of water safety information, GCPR is dedicated to providing citizens with the tools they need to prevent water-related injuries.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the sixth leading cause of unintended injury-related death for people of all ages and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14. Research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children aged 1 to 4 years. GCPR offers swim lessons for those as young as six months to adults of all ages. Group, private and semi-private swim lessons are available in a variety of class levels to benefit everyone from learners to advanced swimmers.

In addition to swim lessons, GCPR has a number of summer events planned to promote water safety.#Bethesda Park Aquatic Center will be a host location for the 2012 World”s Largest Swimming Lesson on June 14 from 11 a.m. to noon. The cost for this event is $3/person for Gwinnett County residents and $6 for non-residents.#This worldwide event builds awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim in order to help prevent drowning.#On July 7 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center, GCPR will host “Splash and Bash,”# where families can learn swim safety tips while enjoying wacky games and prizes. Regular pool admission applies for this event.

GCPR also supports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Pool Safety: Simple Steps Saves Lives campaign, which educates the public about pool safety. The campaign reminds citizens to:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water.
  • Teach children basic water safety tips.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapment.
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa.
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.

All GCPR pools are accessible for people with disabilities and offer safe, supervised swimming environment for patrons of all ages. For more information on swim lessons, details about GCPR aquatic centers or other planned events, visit www.gwinnettparks.com.