Keep kids safe this summer
By Jan Rahn
Everyone wants a carefree, fun summer—keeping kids safe at the pool is a big part of that. It takes input from parents, lifeguards and the public to assure that everyone is secure.
Parents and guardians play a big role on a day-to-day basis when kids spend their afternoons at the pool.
Below are some rules and reminders:
• Pool safety rules: Parents—make sure you talk to your children about rules at the pool. No running. Do not hold others under water. Respect friends and the pool staff. Shower before getting in the pool. No food in the water. Look before jumping in.
• Wear sunscreen.
• Tell a guard if there are any issues so they can be handled.
• If your child gets kicked out of the pool, please talk to your child before you get upset at the pool staff and call the pool. If it is not solved, please call Connie and a meeting will be arranged.
• Storms move in fast. As soon as lightning occurs the pool will be closed. Please have a plan for your swimmer(s)—a place to go to be picked up.
• Swimmers who swim in the big pool are not allowed to go to the baby pool during rest break.
• An adult (18 or older) has to be in the baby pool with their child(ren) at all times.
• Please take your child to the bathroom every hour. Urine is very harmful to the pool’s chemical balance.
• Pool closure will take place if there is a fecal (poop) incident. The Center for Disease Control recommends immediate closure of the pool to kill germs and prevent illness among swimmers.
Tips for lightning safety
Lightning’s behavior is random and unpredictable. The National Lightning Safety Institute recommends a very conservative attitude toward it. Preparedness and quick responses are the best defenses towards lightning hazard.
Here are safety procedures for the pool and ball fields:
• Designate a responsible person as the weather safety lookout. That person should keep an eye on the weather. Use a “weather radio” or the Weather Channel or other TV program to obtain good localized advanced weather information.
• When thunder and/or lightning are first noticed, use the flash-to-bang (F-B) method to determine its rough distance and speed. This technique measures the time from seeing lightning to hearing associated thunder. For each five seconds from F-B, lightning is one mile away. Thus, a F-B of 10 equals two miles; 15 equals three miles, etc. At a F-B count of 30, the pool or ballpark should be evacuated and people should be directed to safe shelter.
• Activities should remain suspended until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. The distance from strikes can be some 5-8 miles away; and it can strike much farther away. Why take a chance with lightning?