Less experienced swimmers need extra watching

As people flock to area pools, one local facility wants people to know that they are not a babysitting service.

Posted: Jul 1, 2019 3:52 PM
Updated: Jul 2, 2019 8:58 AM

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WFFT) - People line the sidewalks at Jury Pool waiting to beat the heat by taking a dip in the pool.

Kim Yoh, the Aquatics Director for New Haven Parks Department makes sure her staff of lifeguards is ready to go. It's 85 degrees and only getting hotter, keeping a steady stream of swimmers coming.

With the consistent heat, Yoh says they've seen hundreds of people, saying "We had 1,620 (swimmers) on Saturday {June 29}. We also had about 1,580 people on Friday {June 28th}."

That means hundreds of people in the pool at once.

With numbers like that, it can be difficult for lifeguards to do their job. Collectively, they have to monitor each and every swimmer in the pool, not to mention the ones outside of the pool.

"Some of the things we see most of the time are 12, 13 year-old kids who are probably here with another group of kids, don't want to admit to them that they can't swim," Yoh said.

If someone jumps in and can't swim or touch, lifeguards may have to go in after them, leaving people wondering "Why weren't you watching my kid?"

Yoh explained, "The parents are always shocked and they have said to us "I thought there were lifeguards here?" We just try to make sure the parents know we're here in case of emergency and to make sure that they stay safe, but we're not the babysitters while we're here."

These lifeguards are trained in pool rescue, CPR, first aid, and using an AED, but Yoh wants people to know that the pool is not a babysitting service.

They want to provide as safe of an environment as possible.

They try to do that in multiple ways. They educate swimmers before they enter the pool and explain the rules.

They also offer swim lessons to those less experienced swimmers, but they want to make sure that you're watching those less experienced swimmers at the same time

"We are actually lifeguarding following the rules and responding to any emergencies that happen and that way they can be a part of it with the parent in the water," Yoh said.

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