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ABCs of a Safe Summer: Pool safety

July 16, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Lots of people will be heading to the pool or the beach this weekend to escape the heat. Everyone who plans to be poolside should know the "ABCs of a Safe Summer."Lots of people will be heading to the pool or the beach this weekend to escape the heat. Everyone who plans to be poolside should know the "ABCs of a Safe Summer."

ABC7 was at the Santa Monica Swim Center hosting the ABCs of a Safe Summer Friday, everything you need to know about CPR, heat safety, water safety and sun safety.

Do you know about the "blind side" of swimming pools? If a parent were standing watching the pool and their child didn't know how to swim and the child was just going along the side and all of a sudden slips in the pool and goes under, the parent might now see it. That's the blind side. That's why it's so important for parents and lifeguards to be on every side of the pool watching your children.

"We make sure we have four lifeguards on the pool so that way that there is all angles of the pool being covered," said pool lifeguard Thomas Carpenter.

"I didn't know that, I'll have to watch out for that," said Julia Caprio, mother of an 8-year-old daughter.

Caprio's 8-year-old daughter has been swimming since she was 3. Thanks to regular lessons, she knows how to save herself if she ever gets in trouble.

"They just teach me, if you're sinking, then try to be more powerful with you arms and legs and to propel yourself upwards so that you can get more air," said Celeste Mancia, 8, Caprio's daughter.

Experts say there are 1.5 million residential pools between San Diego and Los Angeles counties. In Southern California drowning is the number one cause of death in young kids. Not knowing how to swim is one reason kids drown. The other is unsafe behavior in and around pools.

"Unsafe behavior is typically like roughhousing, jumping around the neck, doing just any kind of rough play and also running on the pool deck is also a very big issue we have," said Campbell, the lifeguard. "A lot of people run and fall."

Kids who run on deck can slip and hit their heads, that's why it's important kids are always supervised, even if they know how to swim. And just because your child wears water-wings or a floatation device doesn't mean they're drown-proof, so don't let your guard down.

"I think every parent should make sure that their children can swim, but so many pool parties that their children are attending, the assumption is in Southern California that our children know how to swim, and we need to make sure that swim lessons are compulsory for our children," said Caprio.

As you know, Southern California is expecting some triple-digit heat to continue through the weekend so the pool is the best place to be. But definitely drink your water, wear your sunscreen, wear a hat and be safe this summer.


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