CARMEL, Ind. - Everybody in the pool! On days like this one, it’s more than just a saying here at Carmel’s Monon Center.
School’s out and the pool’s open and very crowded. It’s a time when parents keep a close eye on their kids to make sure nothing ruins the fun.
"Especially on a day like today when there's a lot of kids around...being subjected to this kind of environment, you have be careful," said one Carmel parent."
But a new study shows many children may be taking more of a risk in the pool than you realize. It says many of them don’t swim very well or don’t know how to swim at all.
The USA Swimming Foundation broke it down by race and income level.
It found nearly 64 percent of African American children, 45 percent of Hispanic children and 40 percent of Caucasian children had low or no swimming ability.
In addition, almost 80 percent of children in families less than $50,000 a year had no or little ability. Most troubling, 87 percent of poor swimmers still planned to go to a swimming facility this season.
"Kids just aren't aware of their ability level. That's why I urge parents to have a talk with their kids..'hey, before you're comfortable, we're going to have you in this area," said Leah Weprich of the Carmel Monon Center.
The Monon Center and other aquatic centers in Central Indiana urge parents to take advantage of the swim lessons they offer regularly all season long. They say that’s the best way to make sure the summer stays fun and doesn’t turn tragic.
"If you're kids like the water, harness that and put them in lessons to reinforce those skills to make them really comfortable,” said Weprich