Water CompetentWater Safety Skills

The American Red Cross has been teaching children and adults to swim and to become life guards for the past 100 years. This year, as a part of their centennial celebration, they established a program to teach 50,000 people from 50 cities across 19 states how to swim. How about you and your family? Are you water competent? A new national survey, conducted by Red Cross, found that only 56% of self-described swimmers could perform all five basic swimming skills that might save their life. The water safety skills include:

  • Step or jump into water that’s over your head.
  • Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute.
  • Turn around in a full circle in the water looking for an exit.
  • Swim 25 yards to the exit.
  • Exit from the water. If you’re in a pool, can you exit without using the ladder?

How to Prevent Drowning

The Survival Doctor includes these six suggestions to prevent someone (including yourself) from drowning.

  1. Take a class and learn to swim well. Same for your children.
  2. If you’re in a boat, wear a life preserver. 88% of people who drown aren’t wearing one. All youth under age 13 are required by law to wear one.
  3. Don’t drink alcohol if you’re swimming or driving a boat. Seventy percent who drown were drinking.
  4. Never swim alone.
  5. Never depend on toy flotation devices for safety.
  6. Make sure your children know this. Always supervise children. Even then, many who drown have only been out of their parents’ sight for a few minutes.

If you see a child drowning and can swim, go pull them out. If you see a conscious adult struggling in the water, call for help. If you’re alone, get a pole, stick, oar, or rope. Throw it and urge them to grab on. Don’t let them grab you. You will both go down.

Billie Nicholson, editor

August 2014

Other articles included in the August 2014 Newsletter are:

Ebola Update


The Fascinating Fig

Sun Oven Demonstrations coming to a location near you

Are You Losing 40%?

Survival Skills for Teens

Meatless Monday Pasta Sauce

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