Swimming safety precautions to take this summer

Local News

In the past several weeks, there have been several near-drownings in the area and one fatal drowning.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In the past several weeks, there have been several near-drownings in the area. There has also been one fatal drowning, by a woman who was trying to save a child.

Swimming safety is something to take into consideration if you plan to head to the beach or pool. 

“It’s really important to make sure you are watching your child 100% of the time. It’s great if there’s a lifeguard on duty, but unfortunately, if they’re watching the entire water, something can happen in an instant,” said Laura Weymer, the health and wellness director at the Jewish Community Center.

Weymer says there are a few tips to take when it comes to pool safety for your children. 

“You have to be aware and alert at all times. That means put your phone down, you’re with them, you’re engaged. If you’re in the water with them, make sure you’re arms length away so you can grab them if something were to happen,” she said.

She also said when going out into the water, you should never go deeper than you feel comfortable. For those who can’t swim, you should always make sure you can touch the ground. 

She said if you see someone drowning, don’t try to save them unless you have a floatable item to throw to them. Otherwise, they could pull you under, putting you at risk as well.

Below are some other helpful safety tips when swimming:

  • Swim with a buddy.
  • Swim only in areas that have a lifeguard.
  • Stay out of the water when you are very tired, very cold, or overheated.
  • Follow all swimming rules posted at the swimming area.
  • Avoid swimming at night in unlit areas.
  • Don’t eat while swimming. You could choke.
  • Do not push, shove, or run near the water.
  • Know where the nearest lifeguard stand is.
  • If you are caught in a current, don’t try to fight it or swim against it. You can make it back to shore by swimming gradually away from it.
  • Don’t let anyone pressure you into a dangerous stunt.
  • If using life jackets or floaties, make sure they are always tight and secure.

“Prevention is key. You want to make sure that if you have children, get them in swimming lessons now. Get them in programs where they are able to swim so you don’t have to worry about them necessarily drowning in shallow or deep water,” she said.

The Jewish Community Center offers several types of swimming lessons for both kids and adults. It also partnered with the city of Youngstown and offers free lifeguard training to high school students. Once the students are trained, they are then certified and offered employment with the Jewish Community Center or Northside Pool.

Anthony Jones was a student who was trained and certified through the Jewish Community Center. He recently saved two children from drowning at Northside Pool.

You can find a list of the swimming programs offered by the Jewish Community Center on its website.

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