A hot summer calls for the relieving cool of the pool, but at the same time, the potential for drowning is also starting to heat up.
Lifeguard Evan Wood is one of five sets of eyes overlooking the Princeton City Pool. He has seen how that could have made matters worse for one swimmer.
“I was just skimming the pool,” Wood said. “I turned my head for one second, and I just hear someone just trying to breathe air. I hear the water going into her mouth… She was just barely within my reach when I grabbed her and she was just so scared.”
The American Osteopathic Association encourages parents and guardians to teach water safety, have their kids learn to swim as early as possible, and never let those inexperienced swim alone, even if there are not any lifeguards on duty.
“If they have a vest or little puddle jumper they can put on, that helps a lot,” Wood said.
Even younger swimmers, like Kayden Farmer, agree.
“Be careful,” Farmer said. “Don’t do crazy things, like jumping off the diving board and belly flop.”
The dangers of drowning also do not defy with age.
“Sometimes it’s an adult and they can drown just like that,” Wood said. “You just got to keep an eye on everyone. Sometimes the kids do better than the adults and adults just happen to struggle… It’s just important.”