As pools open back up for Memorial Day weekend, keep in mind a few safety tips that help save lives.
Take your kids to cool off at one of these Wilmington-area public pools and beaches:
Wilmington-area public pools
More: Topsail Island prepares for Memorial Day weekend as tourists flock to the beach
- Wrightsville Beach (New Hanover County)
- Carolina Beach (New Hanover County)
- Kure Beach (New Hanover County)
- Topsail Beach (Pender County)
- Surf City (Pender County)
- Sunset Beach (Brunswick County)
- Ocean Isle Beach (Brunswick County)
- Oak Island (Brunswick County)
- Holden Beach (Brunswick County)
According to Giannini-King, there are three rules the injury prevention community likes to share when it comes to toddlers, water safety and drowning prevention:
- LOCK — away the pool and gates. Mirroring this at home is key. Install a gate with latches not reachable to children. Pools have covers, so cover them up. Drains also have covers, so cover those up too, and ensure they are the correct ones for your specific pool.
- LOOK — nothing can replace careful and vigilant supervision of the swimmers. Whether it’s pools, lakes, rivers or beach, no one should leave toddlers unattended with any type of water even in a bathtub. Swim only in sight of the lifeguard. If you can’t see them, they can’t see you. Never get distracted. The Wilmington Fire Department has “Water Watcher” tags, which is sort of like picking a designated driver. Individuals can get these free in the region. Contact Giannini-King at 910-342-2731 to get tags mailed to you.
- LEARN to swim and make sure kids do too and learn CPR. The city offers CPR programs and a lot of resources for families are available. Wilmington Fire Department Station 2 on Park Avenue hosts a drowning protocol awareness class. Water rescue firefighters will be teaching class. Any parent frequenting water areas often or anyone interested in general, contact Giannini-King at 910-342-2731.
“As we move into warmer weather, we think about recreation,” Giannini-King said. “Drowning is preventable.”
Giannini-King said she also encourages parents to purchase lifejackets as floaties don’t prevent drowning.
“Floaties are not U.S. Coast Guard-approved, can easily deflate and often give children — and parents — a false sense of safety,” Giannini-King said. “Children and weak swimmers should always use U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejackets and should be worn in and around all types of water.”
To learn more about the importance of a lifejacket visit redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/life-jacket-safety-information.
Adopt and practice as many safety steps as possible when your kids are around water. Visit poolsafely.gov to learn more.
“You never know which of the LOCK, LOOK OR LEARN safety tips will save a life until it does,” Giannini-King said.
Reporter Krys Merryman can be reached at 910-343-2272 or email@example.com.