Learn to Swim As An Adult!
By Kate Gardner
Do you know how to swim? If you've reached adulthood and don't know how to swim (or can't swim very well), you're not alone! According to the Red Cross, over half of Americans can't swim or can swim but can't perform important water safety tasks that can keep them from drowning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also tell us that there's an average of 10 drowning deaths every day and drowning is the fifth most common cause of accidental injury deaths. When you add it all up, it's easy to see that learning to swim is an important step in preventing drowning deaths.
There are lots of reasons why you may not have learned to swim as a child. Maybe you didn't live near a pool or have anyone to take you swimming. Or maybe your family or caregivers didn't know how to swim, either. Whatever the reason, don't worry -- it's definitely possible to learn to swim as an adult!
According to Livestrong.com, when a person doesn't learn to swim as a child it can create a fear of water in adulthood. Learning to swim may require you to face these fears. If you are afraid of the water, you might do best with swim lessons so that someone can walk you through the steps and be close at hand in case you need help. If you're already comfortable in the water, but need to practice your swimming skills, you might like swim lessons or prefer to work on your own.
Learning how to swim is only part of the puzzle. Once you know the basics of how to swim, it's important to become good enough at it that you can stay safe in case of an emergency. The Red Cross has identified five skills that every swimmer should aim to be able to do.
Water entry - This means that you are comfortable with stepping or jumping into water that is over your head, going under the water, and coming back up.
Tread - You are able to tread water for at least one minute.
Full circle - You can tread water or swim in a circle in order to find an exit.
Swim - You are strong enough to swim 25 yards (about half the length of a pool) to an exit, like a ladder or the side of the pool.
Exit - You are able to pull yourself up out of the water without using a ladder.
Whether you're a beginning swimmer or you've been in the water all your life, have a safe and fun summer!
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