After recent drownings, instructors stress the importance of teaching life-saving swimming techniques

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — In one week, two lives were cut short. A toddler from Las Vegas and a teenager from Newton both drowned at home swimming pools.

Drownings between the age of one and four are second only to birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In that age group, most of those drownings are at residential pools.

Swimming instructors in Wichita are stressing awareness to prevent tragedies. Emily McVay, the director of the Wichita Swim Club, says it’s essential for parents to understand the importance of keeping their kids safe when they are around water.

“I think the most important thing to know is that you always have to approach water with caution,” said McVay.

However, she says it’s never too early to start teaching kids the rules of a pool environment.

“Regardless of if it’s a pool or a lake, but again knowing how to respond,” said McVay.  

“Teenagers roughhouse so much, and they don’t realize that wrestling in the water is so much more dangerous than wrestling outside the water,” said Caysi Sykes, certified swimming instructor

Sykes says it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to drown, and the scary part is that sometimes people may not notice it.

“A lot of parents don’t realize that when their kids go under, it’s not loud. It’s quiet and very fast. Their mouth could be open, and they could fill lungs with water and not come back up,” said Sykes.  

Both instructors have seen an uptick in participants coming in for swimming lessons. For more information on that or how to get involved, you can visit this page.

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