Swim Safety: Preparing for Memorial Day

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner.  Many public pools choose this holiday to open up for summer fun. However, a fun day splashing in the pool can turn dark quickly if you’re not paying attention to who is in the water.

The CDC says drowning in the second most common cause of accidental death in the United States, and a lot of those cases happen with people close by to the victim.

“Parents should be aware of their child’s’ ability and if the child is not a very capable swimmer, don’t completely rely on the lifeguards watching the whole swimming pool,” said Mick Roney, the City of Huntsville’s Aquatics Supervisor.

A distressed swimmer might not always look like they’re drowning, but to the trained eye there are a few red flags to watch out for. “People that get in the water and make no forward progress, they’re kicking but they’re just not getting to the side, you can usually tell,” said Roney. “They’ve got great big eyes and they’re usually staying in one place.”

If you own a personal pool and there’s no lifeguard duty, you need to pay even closer attention to kids in the water and you should have a reliable flotation device in case of an emergency. “The only thing I would feel comfortable with is a personal flotation device that is Coast Guard approved,” he said. “Anything you can inflate can deflate, so never take it for granted that that’s going to be the thing that can save your child’s life.”

The City of Huntsville has swim lessons available year round.

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