How to stay safe while beating the heat in the pool

How to stay safe while beating the heat in the pool

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on June 5, 2013 at 6:40 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 8:07 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- NBC Charlotte is looking out for you, keeping you safe at the pool this summer. 

Each year dozens of kids drown across the nation, but it could easily be prevented. 

Experts say there are some steps you can take to keep you and your child safe.  

"Parents who are taking their kids to the beach, to the pool, to the lake, just making sure they're prepared to get in the water with them and make it a family fun event," said Crystal Clusiau, Associate Aquatic Director at the Harris YMCA. 

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 140 kids drowned in a pool last summer.  More than 50 of those accidents happened soon after kids left the supervision of an adult, and many occurred while others were in the pool.

"If you're here with a family or a group of friends and you've got kids in the water maybe designating someone to be the water watcher, so that not everyone is engaged all the time, and then the kids aren't playing without any supervision," suggests Clusiau. 

Experts also recommend adults stay within arm’s length of kids who aren't strong swimmers.  Many parents are enrolling their kids in swim lessons, like Jill Patterson and her daughter Morgan.

"We thought it was important that at 3-years-old that if she fell in the pool that she would be able to swim to the side at least," she said.  It's a lesson that could make all the difference. 

"Learning to swim is a life skill and having those skills in the water is really important for kids," said Clusiau.

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