MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
With the summer heat reaching above normal temperatures, more people are attracted to swimming pools as a way to cool off quickly. Unfortunately, safety precautions are not always followed when swimming, especially by children who are often unaware of the dangers that exist.
According to the Web site, www.cpsc.gov, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports there are about 260 drowning deaths of children younger than five each year in swimming pools, and an estimated 2,725 children are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for pool submersion injuries.
The Semper Fit staff at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany has put extra precautions in place to ensure users of the base swimming pool are safe.
“A lot of pools have one lifeguard for every 50 swimmers, but here, we have one for every 25 swimmers. This means more lifeguards are available for the population that uses the pool. We teach users how to enter the pool, get out of the pool and stress no running on the pool decks,” said Dan Daniels, athletic director, Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services.
Daniels said his staff encourages individuals not to swim alone, especially children.
“A good age for kids to start swimming lessons is around four, because they have a general understanding of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and can follow basic safety rules and instructions. The key is to enforce the rules to keep children safe at the pool,” he said.
Daniels also added that swim instructors are water safety qualified and teach on three basic levels. The beginner stage is the basic familiarization with the water; intermediate level is where they are taught the basic fundamentals of swimming and the advanced classes teach more techniques of swimming.
Trina Bozeman, lifeguard/swim instructor, was teaching a child how to swim and said she really enjoyed working with the children. “I help out with the swim lessons, but I work as a lifeguard,” she said.
One of the parents who brought their child, Jacob, 6, to swim class was Petrie Montgomery, wife of Col. Jay Montgomery, Marine Corps Logistics Command.
“My son Jacob is taking swim lessons to strengthen and improve his swimming. We started getting our three children familiar with swimming and the water at age two or three. Our three year old is learning at home for now and safety is vitally important to us. We want them to have fun and play in the water, but they have to know how to help themselves in case they fall in,” she said.
The base pool is open Tuesday – Sunday 1-7 p.m. for recreational swimming and Tuesday - Friday 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lap swimming.
For more information, call (229) 639-5246.