Keeping Cool Staying Safe

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 8:49am

People are hitting the pools to beat the heat.

The temperature outside is sweltering and swimming pools are filling up fast, but a lot of kids don't have the swimming background to be in a pool without a parent.

"A lot of times the kids think they know how to swim because at the end of the summer last year they were doing pretty good," says BJ Ballard, Rock Island, Illinois' Parks Aquatic Manager. "They've had winter off so they've forgotten some of their skills."

Lifeguards at Whitewater Junction in Rock Island say that it's crucial for kids to take swimming lessons prior to swim season every year.

"Just to get them familiarized with their strokes, and what their endurance is, and how they can improve on that," Ballard says.

Parents sometimes forget lifeguards on duty don't know what level of swim experience every kid in the pool has.

"Parents really need to keep a good eye on their kids no matter what level they're at," she adds.

Her lifeguards have to jump in the pool and pull a child out roughly three times in every day, not necessarily because that child is drowning, but because that child is clearly in distress.

"It's really important to take a refresher course with lessons, especially kids 12 and under," she insists.

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