DENVER, Colo. -- Summertime brings with it fun in the sun and good times at the pool, but if you’re not careful the summer fun can turn deadly.
According to the Centers for Disease control, every year an average of nearly 400 children die in drowning accidents.
Lifeguards say the most important thing a caretaker can do at the pool is to keep an eye on children at all times to catch a situation before it becomes dangerous.
Another important factor is communication.
“Enforcing the rules first hand is so important so that kids don’t get into these problem situations,” said Eastmoor Pool lifeguard Ashlynn Hunt.
Hunt says you should train your children to not hesitate in calling for help if they’re feel scared.
Being in charge of multiple children at the pool can make watching them even trickier.
“If they’re swimming with someone who has more skills that’s swimming with them they’re going to kind of want to stay up with them in the deep end, and there are boundaries some kids just can’t cross by themselves,” said Hunt.
Pool managers say if you’re babysitting and unsure of a child’s ability to swim you should ask a lifeguard for a swim test.
“We do swim tests to ensure kids are safe in the depth of the water they want to swim in. For instance if they want to swim in our 12 foot deep water we require them to swim a 25 (meter) freestyle and a 25 of backstroke in order to be able to do so,” said Eastmoor Swim and Tennis manager Kent Dertinger.
Dertinger says the easiest way to prevent an accident is to stay in shallow water and an arm’s length away from the child you’re taking care of.
Lifeguards say education for children is a must.
“Water safety is very important. You never know when you’re going to need it. So teaching your kids how to swim at a young age is one of the most important things you can do to keep them safe,” said Hunt.