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Why Swim Lessons Are a Must in MZCO

7/15/2022

Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death among children 1 to 4 years old, second only to birth defects. But children can begin swim lessons as early as 6 months old. Find out what they learn. This story is sponsored by FASTSIGNS and TruWest Auto

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It's never too late nor too early to learn how to swim, especially in southwest Colorado, where lakes, rivers and ponds offer lots of opportunities for refreshing summer fun. You're watching the local news network brought to you by FastSigns and True West Auto. I'm Hannah Robertson. An average of 11 people die every day from accidental drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And drowning is the number one killer of children ages 1 to 4, second only to birth defects. Although Montezuma County has seen only five accidental drowning in 20 years, children, especially those who don't know how to swim, are still vulnerable. They don't know how to survive in the water. They don't know what to do when something bad happens. There are so many ponds, rivers and lakes in this area that it is very important for our area to get comfortable with the water.

Cortez Parks and Recreation offers swim lessons at both the recreation center natatorium and the outdoor municipal pool. But the lessons are the same.

We start with just trying to teach them how to get to the wall, to someplace that they can touch, how to get into a back float so that if they are in deep water, they're at least able to keep their head out of the water and continue breathing. We then start learning how to swim, so how to be able to then go from a back float to doggy paddling to the wall, doggie paddling to where we can touch. And then we start working on our strokes. So then we go into learning how to do freestyle, and then we learn how to do backstroke and butterfly and improve those skills and work on endurance so that if they are even further out in the water, they're then able to take themselves to where they need to be.

Boehner says swim lessons can begin as early as six months old by developing some basic survival skills.

So some of the basics that parents can do with their infants is to do a back flip with their kid, get them comfortable with blowing bubbles in the water, get them comfortable with just being in the water itself.

Of course, even a strong swimmer is at risk of drowning. So when you're on open water like a lake or a river where a life jacket. If you'd like to know more. Cortez Parks and Recreation Department contact information is on the City of Cortez website at cortezco.gov. Thanks for watching this edition of the local news network. I'm Hannah Robertson.

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