Pool safety tips for the start of summer

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Pool safety tips for the start of summer

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As pools across the state open, safety in the water becomes a concern again.

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Swimming is one of the most common summer activities, whether it is at your community pool or in your own backyard.

But the water can be dangerous, especially if you are actively doing things that are considered unsafe.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages one to four, and the second leading cause of unintentional injury or death for children ages five to 14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ashleigh Brammer is the pool manager and a lifeguard at the Sharon Dempsey Memorial Pool in Beckley.

She said lifeguards perform life saving measures dozens of times a season.

“Last year we had about probably 20 to 30 saves last year in the whole season. And that’s not that much as you think,” said Brammer. “Well, we had one bad day last year where we were sold out and we saved eight people in one day, but then you go days without having to save anybody.”

There are four lifeguard stands around the pool and lifeguards patrolling the edges of the pool on foot, for a total of around eight guards.

Eight guards for dozens of children is a tall order.

Evan Laraba, Head Lifeguard for the pool, said following the rules would help them out more than people think.

“I think it’s more enforcing, you know? Like we’ll catch the things that they’re doing wrong and tell them not to do it, but, you know, I don’t think it’s really our job to tell them three times to not do the same thing,” said Laraba. “I think after, you know, we tell them once or twice, it’s gonna be the parents’ position to step in and like enforce the rules that we’re applying.”

The rules are displayed both at the admissions counter for the pool and right outside the concession stand.

And they are there to make sure you and your children have a safe, fun pool experience.

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Brammer said that if the kids want to try something, to just let the nearest lifeguard know!

“Or at least have the courtesy to tell the lifeguard, ‘hey, I’m gonna try this, but I’m not the best swimmer, so if you would just watch?’ That way we know cause sometimes we don’t know and they just jump and then a sibling of theirs will jump off the side and try to save them and they don’t know how to swim either, so then we’re saving two people instead of one person,” said Brammer.

Lifeguards at the pool are all certified through the American Red Cross.

So, before you jump in, look into pool safety to guarantee a fun and safe day in the water!

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