Hattiesburg, Miss. (WHLT) — Officials tells us that a child from Jackson who drowned at the Little Black Creek Campground and Park were told he did not know how to swim. So we spoke to local lifeguards about why it’s important to make sure children know how to swim, because it could save their life.
Schools out for the summer, but for some kids there’s one issue.
“All of your friends are swimming and you want to have fun,” said Gavin Fick, 9.”But you don’t know how to swim.”
Pine Belt swim instructors say the most common problem they find are kids who are uncomfortable with the water.
“Encourage your kids as much as you can to get them in the water early as possible,” said Hattiesburg YMCA Head Lifeguard Mikahil Dixon.
During swim classes, kids learn basic skills such as floating on their backs.
“The way that I always describe it is your body is like a sea-saw in the water. So you want to keep the sea-saw flat on the surface,” said Dixon. “So the main thing is you gotta keep your head back, your belly up, your arms and your legs up also and just breathe.”
Dixon explains the main thing children should do is remain relaxed.
He also encourages that parents should keep an eye on their children and others in the water.
“Whether they are swimming in a pool, a lake, a creek or elsewhere,” he explained. “It’s best if they are a younger child someone gets in the water with them. That way they can make sure the child is safe the entire time.”
“My mom always wants like an adult watching me while I swim,” said Fick.
Lifeguards also say if it is best to put the child in a life jacket of floaties, then do so, even if the child is not in the water but near it.
Dixon hopes this summer parents and guardians take as many safety precautions as possible rather than avoiding them.