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Study Shows Most Americans Don't Know Basic Water Safety Skills

CEDAR RAPIDS (CBS 2/ FOX 28)—With Memorial Day Weekend one week away, city pools are getting ready for a mad dash of swimmers.
"We're hoping for a nice, hot sunny weekend," said Carolyn Hamilton, of the city’s parks and recreation department.
Hundreds of swimmers are expected to fill Jones and Beaver pools memorial weekend--- the first two to open for the year.
"Last year, we had over 1,000 people," Hamilton said.
But there are also dangers that go along with summer swimming.
“It only takes like two minutes for their heart to stop beating," said Red Cross water safety instructor Katey Sanders.
Sanders teaches CPR and water safety--skills that according to a Red Cross poll, most Americans don't have.
According to the study, 63% of families swim in pools without an on-duty lifeguard.
93% don't know the correct order of steps to take to help a swimmer in danger.
11% think it's safe to read a book or talk on their phone while watching their kids in the water.
"If you're not watching your kids, they could be climbing on the wall, and now they're in 4 feet of water when they're only 3 feet,” Sanders said.
While all of the city’s pools will have at least six to seven trained lifeguards on hand, Sanders says that’s not enough.
"Lifeguards are there to help,” she said. “But, watching your own kids is important as well."

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