ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — It’s that time of year again: cannonballs, diving board flips and backyard memories.
But would you know the difference between a child splashing around and going under? Stephanie McCormick, director of Backyard Lifeguards, says drownings aren’t how they look in the movies.
“There’s almost no splashing because they can’t get their hands above the surface of the water,” McCormick says. “Usually their head is tipped back in the water. Their body is pretty much vertical.”
All of the body’s effort is aimed at keeping the mouth above water.
At a backyard pool, she says, it’s not enough for adults to socialize and glance at the water on occasion.
“An occasional look over at the pool is not vigilant supervision,” she says, adding that there should always be one adult whose full attention is focused on the water. She suggests giving passing around a whistle or beach ball to the adult responsible at the time and maybe taking fifteen minute shifts.
She also says home pools should have a landline phone nearby, because 911 operators can’t always trace cell phone locations and visitors might not know the address.
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