Swimming pool safety tips as community pools open for summer

Miami Valley News

CLAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The unofficial start to summer means food, family, and summer-fun activities. Community pools and swim clubs are reopening across the Miami Valley, but experts warn fun in the water can also lead to tragedy.

According to the CDC, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger, and for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal injuries.

At Melody Pool Swim Club lifeguards are always on high alert. Utah Strobel said, “We mostly listen for sounds in the pool like splashing or irregular coughing.”

He said it’s best to swim in groups.

“If something happens like somebody gets stung by a bee or somebody is struggling to swim or reach a ladder then the friends can yell for us and it just makes everybody’s jobs easier,” he added.

The Red Cross says people should know how to perform 5 skills in every type of water environment that they may encounter. These include:

1. Enter water that’s over your head, returning to the surface.

2. Float or tread water for at least 1 minute.

3. Turn over and turn around in the water.

4. Swim at least 25 yards.

5. Exit the water.

The owner of the pool, Brent Fisher said parents should be attentive at all times. “They also need to realize they need to be responsible for how their kids are in the water behaving and how deep they get into the water,” he said.

If you find yourself struggling to get to safety, lifeguards said the best thing to do is relax.

“Relax your body. I know a lot of people tense up and try to get there as fast as they can and that’s just going to make it harder for you to swim,” Strobel said.

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