CHICAGO — Beaches are still closed in Illinois, but they are opening up in Indiana. A group that promotes swimming safety says it is a good time to brush on some common sense rules.

Dave Benjamin of The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project gave a safety presentation at Wells Street Beach in Gary Saturday. About 30 moms, dads and kids learned how to tell when a swimmer is in trouble and some basic first aid that can save lives. They also discussed surviving hazardous currents and how to use floatation devices and other safety equipment.

With public pools still closed because of the pandemic, Benjamin says the home alternative can be dangerous, even deadly.

He says backyard drownings are a leading cause of death in kids between one and four, and boys of all ages are much more likely to drown than girls because they may overestimate their swimming abilities.