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May 20, 2014 10:12 PM

It's Never Too Late To Learn To Swim

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls City pools will be opening to the public this Memorial Day weekend. But not everyone will be ready.

According to a new study from the Red Cross, many adults don't know basic swimming skills and that could be dangerous.

Of the adults who know how to swim, only 56 percent can perform basic life-saving skills.

"Like for instance, if you go to a lake where it may not be supervised, and you get in a situation where you can't help yourself that's a dangerous situation to put yourself in and to put your family in," Jean Pearson, Recreation Program Coordinator for Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation, said. 

Some of these basic skills include: being able to tread water for one minute, swimming the full length of a pool without stopping and being able to climb out of a pool without a ladder.

Pearson says now is the time to learn.

"More and more often you see people venturing out, and wanting to spend time with their kids, their grandchildren. And if they haven't had the opportunity to swim, it's never too late," Pearson said.

Parks and Rec offers swimming lessons for adults in the summer, and people attend for a variety of reasons.

"Some people come because they never learned how to swim so they have family members that they want to go to the pool with and want to feel safe being with their children. We've had grandparents come. Some were in the process of getting new knees or getting new hips and they needed to lose a certain amount of weight before they could go through with the procedure," Pearson said.

Pearson says even though the lifeguards are there to help and protect, parents also have a responsibility to their own children when it comes to pool safety.

"Anytime you bring kids to the pool, we would hope you are also helping us supervise those children. So if you're not able to save yourself, how can you expect to save someone else," Pearson said.

Swimming lessons are $20 for four sessions.

You can find more information about the lessons at the city's website. 

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