Aquatic center director talks safety ahead of Memorial Day

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Temperatures are getting hotter here in Eastern North Carolina and for many, that means cooling off with a dip in the pool, but there are some safety measures you should keep in mind.

Public pools around the East will start opening their doors soon. But before you head out for a swim, remember that supervising your little one is key.

A pool day is fun for many families and kids, but unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are thousands of unintentional drownings each year.

“You need to have certain safety protocols in effect when you have any kind of body of water,” said Mike Godwin, the director of Aquaventure.

Godwin says there’s some advice any parent or guardian should keep in mind: “It’s all about supervision. We have to make sure we know where our kids are. We have to make sure we understand their abilities.”

Godwin recommends hopping in the water with them if they are under four years old and getting them exposed to water at an early age.

“It’s really about never allowing them to build up any fear of the water. So when they’re ready to learn, and they have the motor functions, they learn much quicker,” said Godwin.

One mother says she started her son, who just turned three, in swim lessons about a year ago.

“Just to make sure that he has the skill set to manage to get out safely if he’s ever unexpectedly thrown into the water,” said Dana Mattern.

Now he’s getting to enjoy what he’s learned on his third birthday, all while staying safe.

“Just to get him out and about and active, he really enjoys water,” said Mattern.

Godwin also mentioned the importance of lifeguards at pools. While they may be the first point of contact for help, they are also able to call for additional help if needed.