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Tips for a Safe Summer at the Pool | Journal-news

Lambert Pool in Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG — With swimming pools now open, safety is of the highest priority for those guarding pools in the area.

Lindsey Hall, Pool Coordinator for Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation, has provided leadership for Martinsburg Pools for the past several years, working with lifeguards and guests.

“Our main priority is to ensure the safety of pool customers. This year has been our busiest year yet,” Hall said.

She also reported that this year the MBCPR has a record number of new lifeguards.

“Our main priority is to train them all very well. They are going to be our lifesavers for the next two years. It’s important that we train our lifeguards as best we can,” Hall said.

She explained that they have a manager on rotation with each of the new lifeguards for the first day they are at the pool.

Hall said among the concerns of parents bringing their children to the pool is general safety but also comfort.

“Parents want to be able to make sure their children don’t drown,” she said. “But something interesting recently has been the importance of monitoring their interactions with other children.”

“It seems like our work has extended to not just their safety in the water, but also their safety here in general,” Hall said. “We have a new foot guard position that walks around the yard and surrounding areas to make sure there are no fights and such.”

She said this new foot care station addresses many of parents’ top concerns.

When it comes to safety rules, Hall always encourages swimming with a buddy.

“We never want kids to be alone in a pool,” she said. “It also emphasizes that at home.”

She also said it’s important to always stay hydrated, but especially when swimming. Additionally, remembering sunscreen is also important.

Finally, Hall addressed a common question among parents of children who use floats to help swim.

“I know a lot of parents don’t understand why we’re doing this, but kids who are alone in the pool and on floats, we don’t allow them to pass where they can touch each other. A lot of them are unable to reposition themselves,” Hall said. “I’ve seen floats fail.”

War Memorial Pool and Lambert Pool offer swimming lessons for seniors and for those with disabilities from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. daily.

Additionally, children ages 3 to 15 are eligible for swimming lessons through the MBCPR, which Hall is also responsible for.

“Education is really important. This is how we keep people safe if they know they can swim,” she said.