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Good Question: How early should kids learn to swim?

This week has been a deadly week in the water, six people have drowned, some in pools, others in open bodies of water. On Thursday a 2 year old was pulled from the water unresponsive at a Lexington public pool.

The Centers For Disease control says everyday ten people die from unintentional drowning, many of them children.

Good Question: How early should kids learn to swim?

For many its a fun, refreshing summer activity, a day splashing in the pool or boating in a lake or river, but both can be deadly if you don't know how to swim.

Each year instructors with Lexington's city pools teach hundreds of children and adults how to swim, but at what age should children learn?

"As soon as possible, when children equate swimming with fun they will want to do it more often," said Valen Spears with the American Red Cross.

The CDC says drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages one to 14 and children one to four years of age are at most risk for dying in the water.

At the Tates Creek Aquatic Center instructors give lessons most days.

Research says that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children.

While lifeguards are on duty at public pools, that's not the case in private back yard pools.

"We simply cannot afford not to supervise children not when they are around water even small inflatable pools," said Spears.

In only takes a second for something tragic to happen.

If you don't know how to swim you shouldn't be watching kids at the pool.

" Every adult who supervises children around the water should know CPR and first aid and they should also know how to swim and know basic water skills," said Spears.

Instructors say extra precautions can lesson the chance of an accident.

Safety experts say you should have the following in place at backyard pools:

cell phone on hand
a first aid kit
rings and life saving devices floats
pool should be fenced in
ladders should be removed when not in use
and gates near pool should have be self latching.

For more information on swim lessons in Lexington contact the Division of Parks and Recreation at 859-288-2973


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