How lifeguards and parents can ensure safety at public pools


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The community is on high alert after a 5-year-old drowned at a public pool over the fourth of July weekend.

Family is mourning the death of 5-year-old Faithlynn Blankenship who went swimming with a family member at the Memorial Park on Saturday afternoon.

Police tell CBS 42, although good samaritans tried to revive her until paramedics arrived, she died at the hospital.

There were eight lifeguards on duty at the time of the drowning, three who were working supervisors, officials say. During a news conference, police say they are investigating to see if additional training will be required.

American Red Cross officials say that even though lifeguards are on duty, parents should still keep a watchful eye out.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility. It is the responsibility of the parent to make sure that you know the skill level of your child so you know what you feel comfortable if your child cannot swim they shouldn’t be going in the deep end,” Annette Rowland said. “And things like that but it’s also the responsibility of the lifeguard to train their eyes and to watch the crowd.”

At the YMCA in Trussville, the Aquatics Director says children wear a wristband to separate swimmers who are advanced from those who may be weaker swimmers or need a life jacket.

In addition, the YMCA in Trussville works on a ratio system to make sure that there are enough lifeguards per children in the pool. If there is an increased amount of swimmers, they bring in “floating” lifeguards to add another set of eyes to the pool.

Summer months always attract families to the pool. Check out these Red Cross safety tips for more information on how to stay safe at the pool this season.

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