Although there were five lifeguards on duty at a North Carolina public swimming pool last week, a 17-year-old boy was found at the bottom of the deep end on a busy day – he couldn’t swim. He drowned with activity all around him. It is a difficult lesson to learn: Pool safety must be taken very seriously. How can you keep your children safe at North Carolina pools and lakes this summer? Here are some simple safety tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t rely on lifeguards. Lifeguards are very helpful – and they do indeed help keep our children safe at the ocean and at beaches. However, they can’t keep their eyes on everyone at once. If you have young children, be sure to supervise them as they play.
- Sign up for swimming lessons. The earlier your child can swim, the safer he will be during summer trips to bodies of water. The ability to swim can’t prevent all drowning accidents – undertow, cold water, and currents can still cause dangers – but it certainly gives your children more tools to work with when in the water.
- Don’t put your trust in floatation devices. Flotation devices can help a child learn to swim, and they can also be fun in the water – but they should not be used as a precaution against drowning!
- Keep a phone nearby. The moments after a pool accident take place are extremely important. The more quickly you can call for help, the better. Knowing CPR and CPR for children is also a must, especially during active summer months. Oxygen loss could cause permanent brain damage.