Did you know that only about 50% adults report they can perform basic water survival skills that could save their lives?
Since I started teaching children to swim, I can’t believe how may parents have contacted me and said they never learned to swim, so they want their kids to learn. I found this alarming so I decided to do some research.
According to the American Red Cross, 80% of adults report they can swim, but only 50% actually report they can perform 5 core skills. The skills include, jumping into water that’s above your head, returning to the surface; treading water or floating for a minute; turning around in a circle in water and then exiting the pool; swimming 25 yards and exiting the pool; and exiting the pool without a ladder.
Considering that 71 percent of the earths surface is water, the thought of so many people lacking swimming ability is very unsettling. Just learning basic swimming skills and having water safety education would prevent disasters and save lives.
The statistics are startling. Drowning is among the top causes of accidental death worldwide, accounting for 7 percent of all injury-related deaths according to the World Health Organization. 10 people in the United States die every day from drowning.
Twenty percent of drowning victims are under 14 and drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4. Swimming lessons can reduce these risks by as much as 88%. Swimming skills and water safety rules should be just as familiar to us as basic precautions such as wearing seatbelts.
Learning to swim as an adult is more difficult than learning as a child. Children are more accepting of the water and it’s generally easier for them to get over their fear. Adult may not pursue swim lessons because they are embarrassed to admit they can’t swim.
However, with a little patience, adults can learn to swim and will actually learn to enjoy the water.