How difficult is it to see a body underwater? It's a big part of a big issue - the National Safe Kids Campaign estimates that 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized annually as a result of water safety incidents. Our lifeguards employ the most up-to-date scanning strategies and safety observation techniques, but the fact remains that every adult at the pool should remain watchful and alert, because lifeguards may not always be able to see your child.
It's not like in the movies
A drowning child often slips silently beneath the surface — no cry for help, no waving arms
Once underwater, they may not come back to the surface — no bobbing up and down, no gasping for air
You can't save what you can't see
A drowning child can "disappear" underwater — an increasingly disturbed water surface causes submerged bodies to become invisible
Other factors such as glare and reflection can also cause a body underwater to “disappear”.
For this reason our lifeguards may frequently leave the lifeguard stand to better see the bottom of the pool
You are the first line of defense
Be vigilant — keep your eyes on your child at all times
Always keep a child who cannot swim within arm's reach
If you see something that might be a problem, act quickly to save a life — when in doubt, check it out!
Photos and video reproduced courtesy of Dr. Tom Griffiths and Paragon Aquatics