Staying safe by the pool this summer

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT)   -- "Yell for the lifeguard if they feel like they are exhausted in any way.   Don't be embarrassed to say you need help...just to get out.   Even the best swimmer can drown," said a mother of 9 year old triplets.

Mrs. Martillo stresses that to her young children each time they get near water. She says even though her young children grew up around water and are good swimmers....

"Nothing takes the place of me watching them.   They watch each other.   I make sure I know where they are at at all times," said Martillo.

"Parents do need to be proactive.   They need to do their best to make their kids water safe," said Bob Williams.

"That water safety does involve swimming lessons,"  says YMCA Executive Director, Bob Williams.

"If the child is not water safe yet--you need to be in the water with them.   You need to be an arms length away," said Williams.

He says one of the most important tips he can give is always knowing where your kids are,  whether it's near a public or private pool.

"You never need to send them to a pool alone.   You need a responsible person.   That can be a teenager if they're responsible, but better yet it needs to be an adult," said Williams.

Other safety tips include:

Keep the pool in a secured area with gates that automatically close and latch.

Make sure those latches are out of a child's reach

Pick up ladder to above ground pools when they're not in use

Keep rescue equipment like a life preserver nearby

Keep a phone close

Remove toys from the pool after each use so children won't be tempted to reach for them.

"All it takes is just a little bit of water to drown them, and that does scare me," said Mrs. Martillo.

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