The U.S. Masters Swimming organization formally declared the month of April, “Adult Learn-to-Swim Month.” Their initiative focuses on drowning prevention awareness and outreach for adults. Many pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, and beaches become busy with spring recreational activities. Every adult who learns basic swimming survival skills reduces the risk of becoming one of the ten people who drown every day in this country.
The Red Cross revealed in a 2014 survey “Less than half of Americans can actually do all of the five skills that can potentially save your life in the water.”
1. Step or jump into the water over your head.
2. Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute.
3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
4. Swim 25 yards to the exit without stopping.
5. Exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.
The inability to swim often affects several generations in a family. Many adults lacked the opportunity to learn as children and may believe it is too late to learn. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that over 37 percent of the adult population in the U.S. is unable to swim. And it is often true that adults that cannot swim and who fear the water may pass that fear on to their children. That’s why our “Learn To Swim For Adults” program is so important. Our goal is to teach essential life-saving swimming skills to adults. Participating in a beginning class with other adults provides a safe environment for overcoming fears young children may not have.
We will teach non-swimming adults the basics of swimming to provide a life-long source of family fun, recreation and fitness. Like riding a bike, once it is learned, you never forget how to swim. Once you learn to swim, some adults may wish to continue improving their skills by learning to swim competitively, learning different strokes, or increasing stamina — those skills can be developed in other programs at Forest Park Aquatic Center. Watch the story of a new adult swimmer.
Class spaces are limited but are available free to our members, so register early. A starting date has not been set, but will be scheduled soon after our opening on Memorial Day weekend. For more information and to register, please contact the Forest Park Aquatic Center Director, Kim Bowling.
Contributor: Dick Sidner-U.S. Masters Swimming Certified Adult Instructor
Writer: Molli Cameron