Practicing pool safety this summer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Practicing pool safety this summer

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Each year, more than 3,000 kids under age five nearly die by drowning in pools or spas.  Another 300 children are killed in swimming related accidents.  And most of those accidents are preventable.

On a hot summer day, the Falls Aquatic Center in Cedar Falls is packed.  Mom Erica Schafer enjoys bringing her three-year-old daughter Lonna to the pool.  While they want to have fun, safety is also on her mind.

"I just always make sure I have my eyes on her, and I'm always next to her.  I don't have her going off by herself.  She's taken swim lessons, but she's not at the age where I want her out by herself and not within my arm's reach," Schafer said.

And keeping a close eye on your kids is important because accidents can happen quickly.

"In the blink of an eye, I mean, a young one can go off a diving board and not be able to touch and need to be assisted," said Drake Edwards with the Falls Aquatic Center.

That's also a reason to know your child's swimming ability and maybe consider swimming lessons.  At the Falls Aquatic Center, free swim tests are offered throughout the day to check a swimmer's skills and determine where in the pool they can go.  But should the worst happen, lifeguards undergo lots of training to handle it.  And parents should also consider undergoing emergency training.

"I think everyone in the community could benefit from having CPR certifications," said Edwards.

It's also a good idea to become familiar with the pool facility, including its rules, emergency exits, and where to go in case of severe weather.  So bottom line, when it comes to your kid's safety at the pool this summer, it's not a bad idea to take every precaution possible.

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