American Red Cross Stresses Importance of Swimming Safely

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This year marks 100 years of the American Red Cross educating the public on swimming safely in a new anti-drowning campaign; urging the importance of adults and children to learn basic swimming functions.

Kristin Harns, Casper Aquatic Center supervisor says, "drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for kids ages six and under, which is obviously way way too much."

As families gear up for trips to the pool, lakes and rivers this summer, American Red Cross volunteers ask adults in wyoming to make water safety a priority.

Traci Aguilar of American Red Cross says, "54% of Americans cannot actually perform the basic swimming skills."

Harns says, "the American Red Cross is very safety-focused. You know, not only do we teach the kids how to swim, but we also teach them how to be around the water safely."

Even volunteers were surpised to learn an average of 10 people die in America from unintentional drowning every day. Lifeguards say learning basic swimming skills is something everybody can do.

Aguilar says, "we have the recreational center here in town that offers amazing Red Cross classes that our families can go and learn how to swim. So I was really kind of shocked that that was a national trend."

In a recent survey conducted for the Red Cross, 80% of Americans said that they could swim, but only 56% of them could actually perform the basic functions that could save their life.

Harns says, "so many people are unaware of the risks of secondary drowning, you know if a kid goes under, might inhale a little bit of water, there is a potential that a child could drown even hours after getting out of a pool."

Lifeguards say it can only take a minute for a person to drown.

"Watch [children] at all times because a kid can disappear at any moment and sometimes it's too late unfortunately."

To find out more information or register for swimming classes this summer, visit