Local News

Parents, Kids Learn How To Stay Safe Around The Water During the Hot Summer Months

Posted June 21, 2000

— Summer can be filled with wild water fun for children, but every child needs to know about water safety. Already this month, several children have drowned while swimming or boating.

Herbert Young turned a backyard pool into the Triangle Swim Club 30 years ago. He loves to watch kids and families have fun. Sometimes he has to step in the way of too much fun.

"We have always stressed safety," Young says. "We have a motto, 'Think safe and act safely."

Young has lots of extra eyes helping him keep things safe including lifeguards and Thomas Valero's mom.

"I just worry about him being in water that is over his head," Valero says. "We've taken swimming lessons at the pool. He's got lots of floats on and he's happy."

Rough play and crowded pools could be dangerous. However, there is also safety in numbers.

"With the lifeguards, and usually with other moms, you look out for everybody's kids when they're in a pool," Valero says.

Some places that parents do not feel safe are area lakes. Of the three drownings in the Triangle area in June, two involving children were at lakes.

"I feel a lot more comfortable at a public pool compared to a lake, because you can see your children in the water," says parent Katherine Murdaugh.

The worst accidents can still happen in clear waters. Where all the usual rules fail, Herbert Young says swimming ability can still prevail.

"It is teaching them to stroke so they can swim out of the water if they have a problem," Young says.

The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn how to swim -- this includes both adults and children.

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