Safe swimming practices can save lives as pools open

Published: Apr. 12, 2015 at 11:07 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2015 at 11:27 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Swimming can be a great recreational sport to relax, but if you're thinking about getting into the water this summer, don't forget to swim safely.

Lifeguards at Columbus State University Recreational Center say the warmer weather brings more people into the water, which means they take their jobs even more seriously. They're also prepared to jump in to help during a moment's notice.

Certified lifeguards say be watchful of your surroundings, use flotation devices if you need help and also follow the rules of the swimming area. Sometimes even the best swimmer can easily find themselves in rough waters.

"It takes 10 seconds to recognize a struggling swimmer and it takes 20 seconds to get there. So if a lifeguard is not attentive every 20 seconds, there is a possibility in that 30-second range someone can start drowning. Also, every 1 in 5 children struggle as a swimmer. Every time children come in, I always keep my own on them more than an adult," said lifeguard Amber Holmes.

The American Red Cross says about 200 children drown in swimming pools each year.

Even if they are great swimmers, lifeguards say they do not allow children to swim alone at the swimming pool on campus. They also say it better to swim in pairs than alone.

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