Swimming Safely: Basic Water Competency
It is time to discuss basic water competency. This may seem like a simple concept, but you’d be surprised at how many people simply cannot navigate in the water. In fact, even floating can be a challenge for some. Now, this is nothing to be ashamed about. After all, every single swimmer needed to start somewhere. What is important is for everyone to do what is needed to learn basic water competency. In a dangerous situation, these simple abilities can save your life.
What is Basic Water Competency?First, let’s look at some disappointing statistics. According to the Red Cross, roughly half of Americans cannot swim well enough to save themselves from drowning. To make matters worse, only four in ten parents of children aged 4-17 report that their child can perform all five basic swimming skills. Basic water competency is different from simply knowing how to swim. As the name implies, this training focuses on simple ways that both children and adults can be better prepared for being both in and near the water. These skills focus on what to do when a person finds themselves in the water. At its core, competency means:
- Understanding how to control your breathing in the water
- Learning how to float on your back, keeping your nose and mouth above water
- Knowing how to enter and exit a swimming pool