Before you take a dive the pool, make sure you practice water safety

People are grabbing their swimsuits and heading to the nearest pool.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Temperatures are nearing 90 degrees, and folks are looking for a way to beat the heat.

People are grabbing their swimsuits and heading to the nearest pool.

But before your kids take a dive to cool off, be aware of the water safety.

It only takes a few seconds for your child to slip underwater.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, close to 390 deaths are reported in a swimming pool or spa.

Before you make a splash this summer, getting a few laps of practice around the pool may keep you safe in the water.

Here at the YMCA in Columbus, Stephanie Gonzales gives swimming lessons daily.

” We teach one different class a week. So, you’ll go through a class of swim lessons, and you usually do a couple throughout the week. So, one class you’ll come in, and the next week it’ll be a different class. You can re-assigned and go into one class and then another until your child learns. Some kids pick it up one class, and they’re out doing more. We probably have about eight or nine throughout the summer,” said Gonzales.

Flotation devices such as life jackets, boards, and pool noodles are available if a child needs assistance.
Gonzales said when club members bring their children to the pool, there are some safety tips to follow.

” If the child can’t swim, they must always be in arm’s reach, whether they’re in a floating device or not. I’ve seen kids go under even in a floating device if they’re not strong enough to lift themselves back up. Children can still turn face down in a life jacket or peddle jumper. It doesn’t matter. Drowning can still happen,” said Gonzales.

Parents are encouraged to dress their children in brightly colored clothing, like orange or yellow.

If someone is drowning, their swimsuit will show exactly where they are in the water.

Gonzales urges parents to be cautious in larger bodies of water, like lakes or rivers.

Make sure there are extra life jackets before going for a swim.

She said to be mindful of debris sitting in the water as it may snag onto your clothing.

” I have seen it. I have pulled kids out before. It just amazes me that parents will turn their heads. I understand you’re there to relax too, but you should always be watching,” said Gonzales.

” As long as your face and nose are covered with water, you can drown. If the water is shallow, it doesn’t matter if your kid can stand or walk across. If they fall over and can’t figure out a way to stand themselves back up or roll on their back , you will have an issue on your hand,” said Gonzales.

Check with your local parks and recreation departments or your nearest YMCA for swimming lesson times and locations.

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