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Experts Share Swimming Tips for the Summer

If your plans this Memorial Day weekend include a trip to the lake, you'll want to be extra careful when you swim. KSMU's Kristian Kriner explains why.

Flooding this spring has water levels up in area lakes and that can be dangerous for swimmers.

Captain Gary Haupt is a Commander for the Missouri State Water Patrol.

He says with the recent floods the most important precaution is swimming close to shore.

"A concern we have right now especially at Table Rock Lake and some other the southern lakes in the state is that the water is so high that most of the normal swimming areas have been inundated and there are no beaches there are no swim beaches available so people are going to be just randomly swimming from the shoreline because they have no other option. So that's a concern, so boaters need keep that in mind and stay well away from the shorelines and swimmers need to stay close to the shoreline too," Haupt said.

Haupt says people should never swim alone and should know the swimming area.

He says swimmers need to know how deep the water is before they dive in because diving in shallow areas could cause head or spinal injuries.

The lake isn't the only place swimmers will be this summer.

Community pools and home pools will soon be full of young swimmers.

Kyla Bentley is a lifeguard and Aquatics Director at the downtown YMCA.

She says parents need to go over the pool rules and make sure the kids understand them before they get to the pool.

She also says it's important to watch your kids as much as possible because the lifeguards aren't always watching.

"They need to make sure they are in an area where the lifeguards are completely vigilant and if they're not it's not out of line for a parent to go at least talk to the management and make sure that the management understands that maybe they have a lifeguard that isn't vigilant. That's okay," Bentley said.

Bentley says kids should take breaks, wear a floatation device and walk in pool areas.

She says the most important swimming tip is to have an emergency plan and go over it with the kids.

Make sure the kids have access to a phone and know who to call in an emergency.

For KSMU News, I'm Kristian Kriner.