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Ways to stay safe at the pool and prevent drownings

Posted at 8:58 PM, Jun 20, 2018

A fresh dip in the pool can be exhilarating, it can be dangerous as well. Drowning is the leading cause of death of kids from one to four years of age.

Sabrina Rush is the head lifeguard at Mears Point Marina.

She knows parents should have a coast guard approved flotation devices for your children. Noodles and water wings are toys and should not be used as a safety device.

"They go into the deeper water where they can't touch and they will be playing and they are following older siblings and their water wings will slip off and all of a sudden you have a kid in trouble," said Rush.

Laura Jenkins has her 8-year-old son Cole to watch after. They took safety measures into their own hands.

"We took swim lessons every year before the season. Especially living on the Island, there is water everywhere," said Jenkins.

According to safekids.org, there are a few things you should teach your child:

• Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface

• Float or tread water for one minute

• Turn around in a full circle and find an exit

• Swim 25-yards to exit the water

• If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder

Parents should not rely solely on the lifeguards to watch their children in the pool.

"We are here to provide safety and security for your children, it really is your responsibility to watch them," said Rush

Obviously, if you see someone 2-years-old or younger in the pool actively drowning, you should jump in and help them. But someone a little older and a little more sized jumping in to help may not be the best solution.

"Giving them something to hold onto like a life vest or a ring, something that can float because their instinct is to get out by any means necessary which could mean taking you down as well. So they will cling to you and even push you down under and not only do you have one active drowning victim, you have two," said Rush.