Cooling off in the pool? Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay safe

Posted at 5:28 AM, May 06, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It's that time of year again.

Temperatures are routinely going above 80 degrees and a refreshing dip in the pool is just what the doctor ordered, but it can go from relaxing to dangerous pretty quickly.

Lifeguards in Virginia Beach say they average one assist per week and usually the person needing help is a child not being watched. Lifeguards say having another set of eyes with you in the pool is never a bad idea.

“Making sure you’re always with a buddy or someone responsible, someone supervising the area, especially if you’re a child. If you’re an adult, it still doesn’t hurt to swim with a buddy," said George Dunbar, Recreation Specialist at the Kempsville Recreation Center.

In Virginia Beach pools, it's mandatory for children under nine years old to be accompanied by an adult and Dunbar suggests keeping the same rule at home.

"You really want to keep an eye on your children when they’re in the water, you never want to turn your back on them. You just never know when something’s gonna happen," he said.

If you're swimming with someone else and something does happen, there are some things to keep in mind.

"You don’t want to jump in and try to help them on your own, you want to find something to reach or throw and then you want to go find help," said Dunbar.

That's because a person in distress is likely to latch onto anything within reach to stay above water, including a person, which could lead to two people drowning.

Lifeguards at Virginia Beach recreation centers are required to wear a rescue tube for that exact reason. It can support themselves and the person they're rescuing.

When it comes to diving, Dunbar says it's prohibited in Virginia Beach pools in a depth of nine feet or less, something to keep in mind at home. He also says learning CPR is a useful skill that can help save someone's life in an emergency.

Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squads teach CPR classes for free. For more information, click HERE.

There are plenty of other suggestions to stay safe in the pool this summer. Click HERE to read the American Red Cross pool safety recommendations.