May Article: Water Safety

Hello O’Fallon,  

It seems as if our April showers have carried over into May! No worries, summer will be here before we know it. In our department, we see Memorial Day as the official start of the summer season. A typical midwestern summer entails many favorites such as outdoor grilling, yard games, and fun at the pool! The pool can be a fun and relaxing time for passing the summer days. The pool is fun, but it can also pose some serious safety concerns.  

This is a great transition to talk about water safety. Water safety not only encompasses knowing how to swim but considering other items such as environment and physical health. When preparing for your trip to the pool, it is best practice to make sure you know about the pool in which you are swimming in. You should familiarize yourself and swimmers with items such as, facility rules, entries/exits, depth markings, and unique features to the pool. Do you think that you may need safety flotation devices? How about those all-important swim goggles? These are just some of the items to consider when planning a trip.  

While in the water, it is important to consider where you will swim in relation to your swimming ability. If you are unsure of the depth of the pool, it is not advised to take a plunge into the deepest portion of the pool. Weak or non-swimmers should avoid any water deeper than chest deep and should never swim without proper safety equipment and the supervision of a lifeguard and/or swimming adult.  

Environmental factors are also important to consider when swimming. Our midwestern days are known to produce sun exposure. It is important to know how your body can react to sun related conditions. First and foremost, always remember to wear sunscreen and reapply according to instructions. Although you may soak in the pool water, it is important to remember to stay hydrated. Exhaustion and overexertion can also lead to aquatic emergencies. It is important to know your body’s limitation of exertion in the water and when to exit the water. Most importantly, never swim alone. Always swim in pairs. Children should never rely on other children as swimming supervisors. 

Finally, swimming lessons are essential to a successful experience at the pool. Swim lessons are offered to infants, children, teens, and adults. There is a swimming lesson session for every swimming ability. Our O’Fallon Memorial Pool offers a variety of swimming lesson options starting with parent and child, group, and one-on-one swimming lessons. We follow the American Red Cross Learn to swim program and our instructors are certified American Red Cross Lifeguards. If you plan to make a stop to our pool, we can assure you that you are under some of the most watchful pool eyes in the area! Please remember to have fun this summer at the pool and enjoy it safely wherever you go.