Pittsburgh, PA

Adult Water Safety

Students participating in an adult swimming lesson

While children are at the highest risk of accidental drowning, everyone is at risk when they’re around the water. Regardless of your age, knowing the basics of water survival could save your life or allow you to aid in saving someone else’s life. As an added benefit, educating yourself and following water safety guidelines sets an example for children and those around you to follow!

Water Competency: What is it and Why is it Important?

Water competency means an individual can anticipate, avoid, and survive common drowning situations. 

In a recent survey conducted by the Red Cross, more than half of adult respondents could not perform the water competency skills necessary to save their own life, placing them at a high risk of drowning. 

How do you know if you have the skills to save yourself? 

An individual is considered to be “water competent” when they can perform the following skills:

  • Float or tread water for 1 minute
  • Spin around in the water and find a way out
  • Get out of a pool without a ladder
  • Swim 1 pool length without stopping
  • Jump into deep water and come up for air

If you cannot perform all of the above skills, you will likely be unable to save yourself in an emergency water situation. 

Drowning Facts & Statistics for Adults

According to the CDC, certain risk factors make drowning more likely. Here are the facts every adult should know!

  • In the United States alone, approximately 4,000 accidental drowning deaths occur annually – an average of 11 accidental drowning deaths per day. Additionally, over 8,000 nonfatal drownings occur annually – an average of 22 nonfatal drownings per day.
  • Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male due to contributing factors such as increased exposure to water, risk-taking behaviors, and alcohol use.
  • Lack of water safety knowledge and swimming abilities highly increases the risk of drowning.
  • More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among people 15 years and older occur in open water like lakes, rivers, or oceans.
  • Among both adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, nearly 1 in 4 emergency department visits for drowning, and about 1 in 5 reported boating deaths.
  • Certain medications can increase the risk of drowning, especially psychotropic medications commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other conditions.

Water Safety & Drowning Prevention Tips for Adults

Drowning can happen anywhere there is water, even with experienced swimmers. Be sure to know and adhere to the following drowning prevention tips to protect yourself and others!

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills. Formal swimming lessons, such as those offered by British Swim School, are proven to help reduce the risk of drowning.
  • Wear a life jacket. Life jackets reduce the risk of drowning for people of all ages and swimming abilities, especially while boating or swimming in open water. Be sure to do your research and find the right one for you that is coast guard approved. 
  • Know the risks of natural waters and be aware of weather and water conditions before swimming. 
  • Avoid alcohol which impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
  • Use the buddy system. Never swim alone, regardless of your age or level of swimming skills.

British Swim School’s Adult Program

At British Swim School, we set ourselves apart from other swim schools by offering a distinctive take on adult swimming lessons.

Our adult program has three levels:

  • Water Acclimation – for those hesitant around water and may have a fear of swimming
  • Water Survival – for the inexperienced
  • Stroke Development – for the advanced looking to improve their skills

Our instructors give personal attention to help strengthen areas where guidance is needed. With over 40 years of experience, we have been successful in working with people of every age and experience level.

Interested to learn more about our adult program? Contact us or find a nearby pool and sign up today!

Get in Touch

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