Another tricky one! A water-competent person has water smarts, swimming skills, and the ability to help others while engaging in water activities in, on, or around ANY body of water. You should not assume that someone who is a competent swimmer in the pool will be a competent swimmer in open water.
How do I support my kids in becoming water competent?
Practice swimming with your swimmer in a variety of aquatic environments
Open water has a lot of characteristics, attributes, and features that an enclosed swimming pool does not. When swimming in open water, swimmers should be knowledgeable about currents, rip currents, tides, riptides, undertows, and jetties.
Always remember to practice under the supervision of a certified lifeguard! Enjoying the open water can be a wonderful summertime or vacation experience. Swimming with a certified lifeguard on duty ensures that you have a safe and positive water experience.
Responses to water emergencies are also different depending on which type of water you are swimming in. Completing swim lessons up to and including Level 6 teaches swimmers basic water rescue skills in any body of water. You should continue to reinforce what should swimmers should do if they recognize a water emergency.
Understanding the difference between each body of water will help you and your swimmer make smart decisions while swimming in any body of water. Check out our Water Competency Questionnaire to determine if your swimmers are Water Competent!
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