The month of May is well underway and with it come sun drenched days that sometimes only a dip in the pool can fix. In West U, that could mean taking advantage of Colonial Park Pool and all its amenities.
May is also National Water Safety Month in the U.S. and West U has joined forces in the efforts and named the month of May, Water Safety Month in West U.
“We’ve doing it the past few years because we have two pools, we run thousand of swim lessons around the year, we just felt like it’s something we need to promote,” said West U Recreation Manager Brittany Bakes.
“Plus, West U has a lot of families that have backyard pools and it’s important that we’re promoting water safety and awareness to protect, primarily the youth, but everybody.”
West U Mayor Susan Sample read the proclamation at the April 25 city council meeting after a short presentation from Bakes.
According to the presentation, there were 75 drownings in Texas and to date in 2016, there have been 16.
To make sure West U lifeguards are always ready, the city hires and trains over 75 guards annually. In-service training is done weekly in the summer and 2-3 times per month in the offseason.
At the April 25th council meeting, Bakes said that West U lifeguards facilitated over 25 water rescues in 2015.
“I always tells the staff that if everybody walks out of the facility breathing at the end of the day, then it’s a good day,” said Bakes. “Because of the amount of people that we see on a daily basis at these facilities.”
One of the driving points of the presentation was water safety as it concerns children. Bakes said anyone is susceptible to drowning but, “the likelihood is probably going to be children and that’s the primary of all of our rescues.”
Bakes added that these types of situations happen because parents aren’t paying attention or sidetracked. When it comes to drowning, there’s a misconception about it, and Bakes wants to help clear it up.
“Some drownings do occur where there splashing around but most actually, they slip under the water quietly and you never see any sign of distress,” said Bakes.
“And those signs of distress are so fast that if they’re there, people don’t see it because they think they’re playing, and usually only last a couple of seconds and they they’re under the water.”
Before you take a dip in the pool, check out some water safety tips at www.nationalwatersafetymonth.org/water-safety-tips.