Keeping children safe in and around the pool

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Swimming classes are in full swing this summer and teachers want to urge parents to protect their children while in the pool.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 300 children drown and nearly 2,000 suffer from submersion injuries.

Judi McIntosh of Swimsational Swim School in Sulphur feels these numbers can be brought down by reinforcing what to do in an emergency.

"Children are taught to jump and return to the side," said McIntosh. "We also work up to a 10 second breath control."

The swimming lessons also prepare swimmers to save other lives as well.

"We teach and promote 'throw, don't go,'" said McIntosh. "They can extend a ring or a float, anything to keep distance between them and the victim and pull them to the side."

While 65 percent of the accidents happen in a pool owned by the child's family, it is important to make sure the pool at your home is fully equipped with safety.

Paul Glasco of Planet Pools in Lake Charles said alarm systems can be the perfect life savers.

"It's got a remote device that will operate almost 200 feet away," said Glasco. "Anything that hits in the water 15 pounds or more is going to set that alarm off."

While in the pool, Glasco said floating devices shouldn't be the only lifesaver, as they could leak air without you knowing it.

Planet Pools urges swimmers to invest in a "Body Glove" for their toddlers to keep them better afloat.

"Devices such as the 'Body Glove' have the built in devices in the suits," said Glasco. "You can not be submerged in something like this."

For more information on swimming lessons or on purchasing safety equipment for the pool, click on the related links to the right.

You can find information on summer swimming lessons for the American Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana posted below:

Ben Ruhl Learn to Swim program

June 15 & 16

at the American Red Cross, 3512 Kirkman St in Lake Charles, LA.

Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. each day.  Registration is $10.00 per student per pool age 5 – 12.  Lessons will be given as follows:

July 12th – 16th, 2010

University Swimming Pool                  9:00 am – 10:00 am

2nd Avenue Swimming Pool                10:45 am – 11:45 am

Westlake Swimming Pool                  1:00 pm – 2:00

For more information, contact Beki Derise, Director of Health & Safety Services at 478-5122 ext 11 or

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