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Family Focus: swimming safely

Instructors at Swim Macon helped children learn to swim Tuesday. Coaches say life vests a lone aren't enough to make sure your child is as safe as possible in the water. / Perry Smith (WGXA)

"If you can't swim, even a life jacket is not necessarily gonna help you", said Jason Swain, head coach at Swim Macon.

The pool can be great for kids of all ages. But many parents are reliant on life jackets or arm floats to keep their child safe.

"We hear every year about someone at Ocmulgee drowning," said Swain. "There was a young man who drowned out there a few weeks ago, just terrible, and he had a life vest on".

The idea of leaving the vest behind and learning to swim can be intimidating.

"It's gonna be challenging, you're going to have to push some uncomfortable situations on yourself", said Swain.

But parents and coaches can very easily ease that fear.

"Take them out and show them that it's not that dangerous and it's not that scary; they're gonna be okay", said Swain. "Like I said, a lot of reassurance goes into it. It's pretty psychological with kids obviously".

But when we train kids, it's best to get the experts involved. They are the best prepared on how to teach and what to look out for.

"We know what to look for as far as danger signs, safety, any kind of secondary drowning or anything like that where a kid gets fluid in their lungs that may not seem like they're bad but later a lot of times it can be what is called secondary drowning where your lungs get full of fluid and you can operate fine for a little while but eventually it kinda catches up with you", said Swain.

For Family Focus, Amyre Makupson, WGXA News.

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