Professionals share tips on how to stay safe in the water this summer

"Having more people ready to respond to emergencies is a great way to reduce the risk of long term water related injury or death."
Macon-Bibb County opens pools

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)- As the summer continues to bring high temperatures, people will look to get into water.

James Bell is a water safety instructor for Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation. He says many water related injuries are due to a persons over estimation of their swimming skills.

“You must wear your life jacket, I’m a certified lifeguard I’m a strong swimmer but anytime I’m on an open body of water boating I’m wearing my life jacket you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Bell.

So what about young children and babies? According to Pediatric ER Attendant for Atrium Health Navicent, Jacob Kirkpatrick, a child is ready to begin water safety classes as early as one-year-old. He also says the more people who know CPR, greatly improves the chance of survival if drowning.

“Having more people ready to respond to emergencies is a great way to reduce the risk of long term water related injury or death so the more care givers that you can have that are CPR certified is always a great thing,” said Kirkpatrick.

Bell recommends parents stay away from arm floaties.

“If a child jumps in to the water, the water wings fly right off and down they go so it’s better to wear a life vest or personal flotation device that straps around the body to prevent any kind of issues,” said Bell.

If you’re looking to become CPR certified, visit the American Red Cross website at redcross.org.

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