Friday, May 23, 2014

Summer means sizzling heat and swimming fun!

Debby plays a game of
goggles while teaching a
Story by Andrea Stone and Debby MacSwain

Debby MacSwain is a a water safety instructor for the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross and has been teaching water safety for over 40 years. Knowledgeable and passionate, Debby has offered some water safety tips to help make this a fun and safe summer.

Tips on how to stay water safe and water smart this summer.
Too much sun is no fun. Be sure and check the expiration date on your suntan lotion. Everyone needs to take precautions against sunburn. Remember to take your hat, sunglasses and lotion.

Be cool; follow the rule. Running on a deck, slipping and hurting yourself is one of the quickest ways to ruin a swim outing. Go over the rules of the pool or facility with your children. Don’t forget to point out the lifeguard and let your children know to yell “Help” if they need help.

Debby swims with student
"teaching them early makes
them better swimmers."
Know the layout. Where are the restrooms? Where is the shallow end of the pool, the lifeguard stand and steps or ladders into the pool?

Look before you leap. For waterfront areas, know the depth of the water and if there are obstructions like rocks in the area.

Don’t just pack it; wear your jacket. If you are going boating, make sure everyone is wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket.

Think before you sink. Know your limitations. If you or your children have not been swimming in a while, you may think that you can swim a longer distance, and get tired before you are at the edge of the pool or lake.

Check out the Red Cross swimming lessons near you. Red Cross water safety instructors are trained and certified to teach Red Cross swim lessons and water safety.

Download the free swim app offered by the American Red Cross, designed to help parents and caregivers of children who are learning to swim.
The Swim app, available for iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire, enables parents to track children’s progress through swim lessons, promotes water safety and entertains children with water safety games. In addition, swim stroke videos and performance charts can assist young swimmers in learning proper technique. The app is free to download from the iTunes store, Google Play or Amazon Kindle store by searching for “American Red Cross,” or just go to

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