Local News

Swimming Safety Course A Tribute To Young Drowning Victim

Posted June 22, 2001 2:30 a.m. EDT

— The

drowning of a 7-year-old girl

at Falls Lake this week serves as reminder: It only takes minutes for the water to take a victim.

A swimming safety class, started in memory of a boy who drowned at the lake last year, is teaching children to respect the water.

Water safety classes at the Finley YMCA in Raleigh were inspired by Wendy Just, whose three-year-old son, John, drowned in Falls Lake.

Just says she hopes her efforts will inspire parents to teach their children about water safety.

"I don't want anyone else to hurt the way I do. If you can save one, then all this is worthwhile," she says.

The course provides basic, but important water safety tips. It also teaches chidlren they can help save the lives of others.

Here are some safety tips from the Child Fatality Task Force:

  • Never leave children alone in or near a body of water; designate an adult to constantly watch them.
  • Make sure every designated adult supervisor knows how to swim, knows the principles of water safety, and knows CPR.
  • Teach all children water safety and how to swim, but never let a child's swimming ability be the sole source of protection.
  • Use a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device on children when they are in a boat, regardless of their ability to swim or the distance from shore.
  • Install a secure fence around residential pools.
  • About 40 children drown in North Carolina each year.