Open Water Safety
Endless Pools® products can help swimmers of all ages learn to safely navigate moving water
May is National Water Safety Month, an awareness campaign sponsored by a group of safety organizations, coordinated by the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, with the goal of helping prevent drowning and other water related incidents. With summer approaching, active families will soon be heading to pools, beaches and lakes, making this the perfect time to brush up on water safety tips.
At Endless Pools®, we’re committed to helping spread the word about water safety to ensure that everyone can responsibly enjoy their favorite aquatic activities. We spoke with Courtney Kline, founder of the Swim4Life and developer of the Lifesaving Learn to Swim curriculum, about how she uses Endless Pools® products to teach swimmers of all ages the skills they need to navigate the perils of open water.
Learning Critical Open Water Skills
While many people are aware of the importance of learning to swim, they may not be aware that swimming in open water can pose new challenges for even an experienced swimmer.
“It’s so important because 74% of drownings, as of last June, over the age of 5 happen in open water,” says Courtney. At 12, Courtney experienced the dangers of open water firsthand when she fell out of a river raft. Despite having been a competitive swimmer since the age of five, she struggled in the open water. Later, she realized that the swimming techniques she had mastered in the pool had not adequately prepared her to navigate the strong river current.
Courtney uses the Endless Pools swim current to help her students become familiar with the properties of moving water. Students perform drills and exercises against the water’s resistance, diving under the flow to replicate the feeling of diving under a wave, or pulling themselves over it to float. They learn the impact that air has on buoyancy, and practice swimming in the moving water without panicking, even when they get tired.
“When panic sets in, when they switch to that sympathetic nervous system, when they go to fight or flight, then that's when we need them to really be able to say, ‘Wait a minute, I've got the skills I need. I've got the skills that can handle that.’ But they know they do because they've had the resistance of that flow head.”
Watch the full video interview below with Courtney Kline to hear more about teaching open water skills.