OMAHA, Neb. - As temperatures rise so do the number of people jumping in the pool. It’s hot, it’s steamy and the best way to cool off is to take a dip. But a recent drowning in Sarpy County and a scary emergency yesterday at an apartment complex pool in Omaha, are reminders about keeping a close eye on children, around the water.
When it's hot outside taking a cool dip in the pool sounds ideal but keeping kids safe in the water is a top priority. On an average day at the Oak Hills Country Club the pool is full of kids swimming. But an enjoyable day at the pool can turn serious if an accident were to happen. At Oak Hills they say that preventing a save from having to occur is key. "It's really just watching and paying attention to what is going on in the pool,” said McKenzie Meradith, an assistant manager at Oak Hills Country Club.
At the country club they always have a least one life guard on duty. "As the number of patrons and children increase, we increase the number of lifeguards that go in the chair and then there are usually lifeguards that are sitting out front of the office or walking around the deck and watching the deck and the pool as well,” said Meradith. And they are trained to know what to look for. "You notice who is in the pool, you look at their ages and you get an idea of who is a confident swimmer who is a less confident swimmer,” said Meradith.
But at other pools around town there may not always be a life guard to watch out for less confident swimmers. Officials say that's when it's important to make sure that children know the basic safety skills of swimming. "If you're tired to roll over and do a back float or what happens if you were to fall into the pool, you would turn around a grab the wall, I think explaining those things to your children are important that way if they ever found themselves in a situation that they would know what to do,” said Meradith.
Officials also say that they notice accidents are more likely to occur when children get tired. "A lot of kids will just wanna go go go and never wanna take a break so I think that's really the only thing we ever notice is that when swimmers start to tire they obviously don't swim as well,” said Meradith.
While taking breaks is key, safety in the water is all about being aware. "Just be aware of your surroundings, look for the other kids in the pool, make sure you're watching,” said Meradith.
Officials also say that it's just as important to make sure kids are safe when they are outside the pool. To do this they say kids should always walk and not run to avoid accidentally falling into the water.