Practice pool and water safety

The pleasant days of June are behind us, with the hotter temperatures of July and August just ahead. With the mercury and, often, humidity high, a cool dip in the pool sounds really good during the dog days of summer.

Notice there is no mention here of diving into the river, a local creek or a farm pond. The risks there are much greater than in a swimming pool. Unless you are in good physical shape, have plenty of help available if needed, and observe each and every safety precaution, just stay out of natural bodies of water.

Even pools can be hazardous, especially if there are private ones with small children near — and that covers many of them. If you own a pool or live near someone who does, watch your children closely.

Even public pools with lifeguards require some prudence. Again, children need to be watched carefully, especially when large crowds are present.

Just across the river, the City of Parkersburg has been forced to add a dedicated supervisor to its pool and splash pad area “because of a lack of parental supervision” of children, according to that city’s Mayor Tom Joyce.

We don’t mean to put a damper on your plans to cool off in the water. With just a little common sense, taking a swim can be a safe pleasure. A public pool is an excellent choice. (And by the way, at those private pools, be sure to add a little moderation to the plan.)

So get out your swimsuit or trunks, head out to the pool and practice your backstroke — carefully.

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