Oh Baby: Pool Safety - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oh Baby: Pool Safety

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by Sunny Layne

CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- The first official day of summer, has come and gone, and even though it's been rainy, kids just can't resist splashing into the pool.

But there are deadly dangers when it comes to water. Here are some important tips to keep your little swimmers safe.

Nothing says summer like a day at the pool. Just check out the crowd at The Falls pool in Cedar Falls.

"We watch them closely, just want to make sure they're safe," Mother Jeniffer Rea said.

But parents like Jeniffer Rea say taking kids to the pool is a hands-on event. After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics says drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children.

"Parents should stay in the water with their kids, it helps eliminate any potential problems, especially toddlers who don't have any swimming experience whatsoever," Lifeguard Matt Tobin said.

Tobin says pool officials decided not to allow life jackets or floating devices so parents would have no other choice than to be attentive.

"Usually a kid will have an 'I'm really scared' look like they've been in a haunted house, and they will be motionless in the water but waving hands frantically, that's usually a key indicator they're in trouble," he said.

Jeniffer Rea says nothing can substitute for swimming lessons, or a day at the pool can turn tragic.

"We start em out early cuz we're afraid they'll get in trouble in the water," she said. "This guy is five and in swim lessons and can go down back and forth by himself."

Rea also says she never leaves her child at the pool alone.

"You worry about someone taking them, so I come to the pool every time I never drop off," she said.

Other tips include applying sun block, reviewing pool rules with children, learning CPR, but one thing is most important: lifeguards say the number one tip to keeping your child safe is watching them at all times.

Then a day at the pool will turn into nothing more than a happy memory.

Lifeguards recommend introducing your children carefully to water beginning in infancy, with swimming lessons shortly following.

They also encourage parents to attend children in the pool until they are at least 10 years old and a proven swimmer.

Reporter: Sunny Layne

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