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Swim Safely Week at local aquatic centers

Management at Rhodes Jordan Park Pool talks about Swim Safely Week in Gwinnett.


Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Rochelle Jones assists her daughter Scholar, 3, with crossing a lily pad bridge at the Rhodes Jordan Park Pool in Lawrenceville Wednesday. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Aquatic Centers are participating in the Swim Safely Week promoting summer safety tips.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Rochelle Jones assists her daughter Scholar, 3, with crossing a lily pad bridge at the Rhodes Jordan Park Pool in Lawrenceville Wednesday. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Aquatic Centers are participating in the Swim Safely Week promoting summer safety tips.

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Swim Safely Week in Gwinnett

Management at Rhodes Jordan Park Pool talks about Swim Safely Week in Gwinnett.

Management at Rhodes Jordan Park Pool talks about Swim Safely Week in Gwinnett.

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Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Lifeguard Alex Yang, 16, observes the waters at the Rhodes Jordan Park Pool in Lawrenceville Wednesday. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Aquatic Centers are participating in the Swim Safely Week promoting summer safety tips.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Pat Sherman brings her grandkids to the pool three times a week during the summer.

Armed with sunscreen, she said one of the most important aspects of the trips are safety.

So she was pleased to see leaders at Gwinnett County aquatic centers put on Swim Safely Week events.

"I think it's fabulous," she said, while her teenaged grandsons leaped on giant "lily pads" at the Rhodes Jordan Park leisure pool Wednesday. "We always work to do things safely."

The boys, 14-year-old Tripp Etheridge and 13-year-old Devin Kotowski, who are cousins, are great swimmers, but Sherman loves that lifeguards are around to keep an eye on 7-year-old Olivia, Devin's sister.

"I'm always glued to her like flies on honey," she said. "But it's fun."

This week, lifeguards have dressed up and played games, giving out prizes to kids as they learn about water safety.

On Wednesday, Alex Yang went all out to dress up for "nerd day," with the 16-year-old lifeguard hitching up his red swim trunks with suspenders and a bow tie around his neck.

"Nerds follow rules," he explained of the day's theme. "We're just trying to make sure that they know the rules, that we are trying to protect them."

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 14, yet research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent for kids 1 to 4.

On Thursday, Learn to Swim Day, the centers will offer a free swimming lesson demo, although space is limited. On Friday, the centers will offer discounted admission for bringing a "swim buddy," while kids will win a prize for bringing something to keep them hydrated on Saturday.

For more information about the events and centers, go to www.gwinnettparks.com.

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