MIAMI COUNTY — When the weather heats up, parents and children flock to pools to stay cool and fight summer boredom. However, in busy pools and sweltering heat, swimmers should take extra precautions to ensure safety for themselves and fellow swimmers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), from 2005 to 2015, there were an average of 3,536 non-boating related fatal unintentional drownings per year. Additionally, about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
“Pool rules are geared toward keeping children safe,” said Leia Lander, aquatics director at the Miami County YMCA, Robinson Branch.
“Parents are the first line in the prevention of drowning,” said Lander. “Parents should always keep their children, especially non-swimmers and children six and under, at arms reach, even with a flotation device.”
At the Miami County YMCA’s and many other facilities, swimmers in need of a flotation device must have one that is Coast Guard approved. This ensures non-swimmers are protected fully against the dangers of the water.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, safe life jackets keep distressed swimmers in a position that allows for adequate breathing. Water wings, pool noodles and other inflatable, non-Coast Guard approved flotation devices can prove to be dangerous.
Shelby Campbell is an intern at the Troy Daily News and a lifeguard at the Miami County YMCA who will be attending Ohio University in the fall.