Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pool Safety

Hearing the news of a 4 year old who died today following a drowning yesterday in a Montreal city pool breaks my heart. It also relives the days when Kelly-Anne and Kim were that age and learning how to swim.

On a hot summer day, the pools are bound to be busy. A lifeguard's job is one that must be taken responsibly. I believe that young lifeguards should be managed by a lifeguard with maturity, experience and management skills. That being said does not remove the responsibility from the parents. Any child who cannot swim should not be left alone in a pool. Even if a child can swim, the parents still need to be sitting at the water's edge watching them.

I remember in the old days being in the water with Kelly-Anne and Kim as they learnt how to swim. How they enjoyed the water but they also knew the potential for danger.

When Kelly-Anne taught swimming to youngsters, she also taught them about water safety. She would gather them on the deck and have little cards with drawings on them which describe water safety issues. I can also remember Kel sitting up high on a lifeguard chair watching attentively the children. Never would she turn her away from them.

I am fortunate that Kim still works as a lifeguard. Somehow I feel just a little bit safer knowing that she is on duty. Kim also teaches swimming to youngsters. As I observe her as she guards the waters, I see the maturity and responsibility taken to heart. That's my girls !

I hope the parents of the 4 year old find peace. The road ahead of them will be difficult filled with guilt, anger and pain. Many the little one rest in peace. For the lifeguards at the pool, I hope they review their responsibilities and get the support and guidance which they need.

Loosing a child like this is preventable.

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