By Melissa Conrad Rushville Republican
---- — Sadly, headlines across Indiana have reported several drownings, especially of children, during the past week. These reports emphasize how learning to swim can be one of the most important skills taught to our children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites accidental drowning as the second-largest cause of death among children ages 14 and younger.
Waggener Community Pool in Rushville will be offering swim lessons July 15 to 18 with July 19 as the make-up day and again July 22 to 25 with July 26 as the make-up day.
The last day to sign up for lessons is July 12. Call 932-7100 to sign up.
The cost for lessons is $30 per week per child.
Swim lessons are available for beginner to intermediate and intermediate to advance levels.
Skills children will learn in beginning range from getting their faces in the water and blowing bubbles to retrieving weights from the bottom of the pool, kicking and the front crawl stroke. Intermediate/advance skills include treading water, learning different kicks, diving from the diving board and various strokes such as the freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and the butterfly.
July 13 will be Raymond Gibson Day and everyone is invited to swim free. Admission is $3 for children and $4 for adults with the exception of July 13.
The pool offers a chair rental program this summer. Visitors will be able to rent a chair for $3 to sun bath on. Once they are done they return the chair and get $2 back, leaving the cost at $1 for the chair per day.
Pool employees include manager Rita Kaster; assistant manager Jean Kopf; lifeguards Keely Springman, Zach Barton, Lucy Dyer, Michael Tague, Halee Rains, Jacob Flower, Abby Clark, Kari Carter, Mackenzie Herbert, Joe Daubenspeck, Clayton Foster, Alexis Kirkham, Spencer Bruns, Sarah Daubenspeck, Aubrey Stromberg and Josh Bostic; front counter Bekah Miller and Gina Dyer; and concessions Audrey Land, Jennifer Lattner, Gina Dyer, James Brashaber, Mikayla Morrow and Leah Connolly.
State officials released the following guidelines aimed at keeping children safe this summer.
Never leave children alone when near or accessible to water, and teach children to ask permission before going near a body of water.
Never leave a child’s safety around water in the hands of another child. Water safety requires vigilant, adult supervision.
Ensure the entire family has been properly taught to swim well via a certified water-safety program. Many city parks departments offer these programs.
Swim in areas with designated lifeguards on duty.
Always swim with a buddy.
Have children wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life-jacket, particularly for children with poor swimming skills, and have a life-preserver on hand.
DNR strongly recommends that all family members wear a life-jacket while boating on Indiana lakes and waterways.
Teach children never to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers because they do not know what dangerous structures can lurk under the water’s surface.