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Let go of your fear. A lot of people put off learning how to swim because they're afraid of drowning. While drownings do occur, most of them could have been prevented by simple safety measures. Follow these guidelines whenever you're swimming, and the odds of drowning will decrease dramatically:[1]
Don't swim alone. Always go swimming with one other person who is a strong swimmer, if not several other people. An area with a lifeguard is usually a best place to swim.
Don't start out swimming in moving water. If you're learning to swim in an ocean or river, you'll need to be more aware of the motion of the water. If you must learn to swim this way, try to make sure you're with someone who knows what he or she is doing, and be sure to read the step about getting out of a riptide or a rushing river (below).
Stay within a depth you can handle. When you're first learning how to swim, don't venture into water that's too deep for you to stand in. That way, if something goes amiss, you can simply stand up and breathe.
Avoid swimming during inclement weather conditions. Swimming in a light rain shower should be fine, but if you see or hear a storm approaching, get out of the water immediately. This rule is to be followed regardless of how well you can swim.
Don't swim in water that's too cold. Moving your limbs to paddle can become suddenly difficult if you're in frigid water.
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