LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – As the weather gets warmer, more families will be headed to the pool. Before you get in the water, there’s important information you need to hear.
There’s nothing like cooling off in the pool on a warm day but the fun summer activity does come with dangers.
The Center for Disease Control reports children ages 1 through 4 have the highest drowning rates.
The USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January through May 2018. Every year, about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday.
Laura Weymer, with the Jewish Community Center, said you should be watching your kids constantly at the pool.
“When you have your little ones in open water or in pools, that you have your undivided attention on them 100% of the time. Even if you have a lifeguard on duty, you always want to make sure you are not distracted with your phone — that you are right there.”
Weymer suggested kids wear life jackets or floaties until they’re able to swim the length of the pool.
“If they are wearing a life jacket, making sure that the life jacket fits properly. Make sure that it doesn’t go above their head once they get in the water and it starts to buoy,” she said.
Weymer said at the Jewish Community Center, kids are taught to take their head back if they start to drown.
“They can automatically buoy themselves and float up.”
She said if a child is in a drowning situation, try not to panic. And if you don’t know how to swim, don’t try to rescue anyone.
“Do not go in after them because they will easily drag you down as well. Find something that you can throw to them so you can pull them in that way.”
Or better yet, alert a lifeguard if there’s one around.
Weymer said the best way to avoid a drowning situation is to make sure you and your child take swim lessons.
The Jewish Community Center on Logan Way in Liberty offers lessons for beginners on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can register online.