Lifeguards: With High Pool Crowds Parents Must Be Watchful

By: Lindsay Veremis Email
By: Lindsay Veremis Email

With the sun beating down Tuesday, it seemed the water has never been more inviting.

"We're expecting a lot of visitors to the pool, kind of a hectic day," head lifeguard Lexi Wilson, with the East Lansing Aquatic Center said. "We like to bring in additional staff."

The near 1,500 capacity pool hasn't hit its max, but is still averaging crowds of 700 plus. Keeping watch are 7-9 lifeguards, who prepare for the influx hitting the water themselves. They train every Friday.

"We practice all of our CPR, we practice the heimlich, scenarios that we might see in the pool," Wilson explained. "We practice those every single week, so we really are rescue ready."

Serious incidents are rare, but the Aquatic Center does average three rescues a day.

The most problematic pool areas, according to lifeguards, are the slide drop sites. They create a strong current children don't expect, they say.

Another trouble spot can be the zero depth entry.

"We'll watch for the little kids that are kind of wandering away from their parents if those parents are a little distracted," Wilson said.

Lifeguards say it's their job to keep everyone safe, but they want parents to keep in mind, in addition to your child, each guard is watching 20-100 others.

"The golden rule is to stay about an arms length away from your child, we really encourage you to do that no matter how good a swimmer they are because something can always go wrong," Wilson added.

In addition to the dangers you can see, lifeguards point to something you can't, hydration.

They say people who are spending time in the water often forget to drink it. The Aquatic Center has seen several people collapse from dehydration.


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