According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about ten people die everyday from unintentional drowning.
In the summer day of 2005, Yoni Gottesman was one of those 10 to drown. He was only four years old and was attending his first day of summer camp. The incident was caught on surveillance video. Yoni can be seen struggling to get to the side of the pool until he began floating face down in the water. He was floating face down for a ghastly eight minutes before a woman approached the life guard sitting just feet away. The Gottesman’s have since honed in on raising awareness for pool safety.
According to CDC, “Approximately 50-75% of drownings occur in open water such as oceans, lakes, rivers, and ponds. About 60% of drowning deaths among children occur in swimming pools.” There are many precautions to take when children are around pools.
People tend to feel immediate security when a lifeguard is on duty. However, unfortunately, as seen in Yonis case, having a lifeguard on duty does not always cut it. It is crucial for a lifeguard to stay clear from distractions.. Drowning happens quickly and can occur in the time in takes to send just one text. A lifeguard needs to be attentive, observant, reliable, a good communicator and experienced through training.
Even when a lifeguard is on duty parents or guardians should take the responsibility to watch children around pools as well.
poolsafety.gov listed several tips to promote safety near a body of water:
“1. Never leave a child unattended in or near water..
2. Teach children how to swim.
3. Teach children to stay away from drains.
4. Ensure all pools and spas- both in your backyard or any public pool you may visit – have compliant drain covers.
5. Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa.
6. Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.”