TODAY

TODAY   |  June 20, 2013

Water safety tips from an Olympic swimmer

Approximately 10 people drown every single day in the U.S., making water safety a top priority. Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans goes over some of the most important tips, including never swimming alone and avoiding unlit water.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> priority. ten people drown in the united states every single day, two of them children under the age of 14. so, with us to teach us a little bit more about swimming safe city four-time olympic gold medalist janet evans . good morning, good to see you.

>> good morning, savannah, glad to be here.

>> there anything more important in terms of safety than teaching a child to swim?

>> there is not. no one really realizes this, we need to teach kids to swim like we put kids in car seats. drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in our country. like you said you can ten drownings per year. the statistics are staggering, we need to get our kids in swim lessons.

>> i want to go through tips that people can listen to of course, never swim alone. you say ideally with a lifeguard on duty.

>> ideally a lifeguard on doubt tirng the problem with a lot of drownings is someone thinks someone else has an eye on their child or any child a lot of drownings happen at parties, people keep their eyes on the pool but they really don't. drownings take two minutes and they are silent. not like the movies, everyone is scream and arms are waving in the air, they are silent down. real advertise is happening.

>> don't use water wings on children y not?

>> it gives kids a sense of security, if they happen to trip on the edge of the pool and fall in, they don't know what to do they don't know how to be buoyant or float.

>> they say never try to rescue someone if you can't swim.

>> i think in a moment of panic, some child fall us in the pool, you don't know how to swim, you jump in and try to save them and disastrous for both, obviously.

>> what is the appropriate age to start a child learning to swim? how early can they get in the pool?

>> that lot of different schools of thought. a lot of children say potty trained. i put my child at 7 weeks , my little girl at six and here at seven months. i think as long as a child feels like they can go underwaurnd hold their breath, i think they are ready.

>> let's show some of this your daughter in the pool. i'm going to take the mic. you will jump in and show me the skills you want your child to be able to demonstrate. okay, here she comes.

>> okay. all right, guys, come over. okay. the most important thing for swimming is for children, obviously, to be able to go underwater and hold their breath and hold bubbles, we are going to go underwaurpd blow some bubbles, okay, ready? one, two, three. blow bubbles. so when a child feels like they can hold their breath and come up and get air that makes them feel more comfort around in the water. obviously, another school of thought, we all know how to float on our back, we fall in, we can turn over and float on our backs. so let's all float on our backs, okay? okay, all float on our backs, like that. so now when a child falls in, if they feel like they can just flip over and float on their back and breathe until help comes.

>> janet evans , it is great advice. i know you have got a little swimmer there, it's in her genes. thank