Central New York, Health

Playing It Safe In The Pool

By Katie Benoit SYRACUSE, N.Y (NCC NEWS)- Summer has arrived which means many families will start to swim in pools. However, a fun day in the sun can quickly turn tragic in an instant. On Sunday, Olympic skier Brode Miller’s 19-month-old daughter drowned in a swimming pool. There are a few things you can do to make time around the pool this summer as safe as possible.

“I really recommend having kids to know to always never swim alone and to always make sure they have an adult with them,” said, Katrina Williams, swim lesson coordinator at Elevate Fitness.

Children can learn to swim by taking lessons at a YMCA or a local fitness center.  Lessons are offered year round and a child can begin taking them as early as 6-months-old.

“Swimming is a life skill,” Williams said.

To make the area around the pool at home safer, New York State Law Requires that pools are fenced in. Williams also recommends having alarmed doors to help alert if a child is going toward the pool area. It is also important to make sure a child knows the best way to get in and out of the pool that they are swimming in.

New swimmers should always wear the properly sized life jacket when in the pool. However, it is important to recognize the signs of an emergency. Williams says that a child could be drowning if they are struggling to keep their head above water or are moving their hands frantically.  Another sign a child could be in trouble is if they appear to be lacking a strong kick or stroke.

Williams says that parents should be an arm’s length away from swimmers at all times. However, there are some signs that a child is ready to swim in the pool without a parent being directly in the pool.

“They have to be a strong swimmer, swimming on their front with their faces in the water knowing how to blow bubbles,” Williams said. “They have to have full extension of their arms and kicking with a strong straight leg kick.”

Williams also encourages the swimmers she teaches to always wear sunscreen to prevent burning.



. Summer Swimming Safety Tips

(c) 2018 Katie Benoit