news Saturday, April 11, 2015 - 05:30
People flock to swimming pools in summers to cool off and have some fun, but this has in recent times been marred with its share of tragedy. Every summer, Bengalureans hear of people drowning in pools, the latest instance being that of an 11-year-old boy drowning in the pool of his apartment complex. Siddharth’s hand got stuck in the suction duct in the pool, preventing him from coming up for air. The pool was only 4.5 feet deep. Apart from hiring trained and qualified lifeguards, Olympian Nisha Millet says that some basic precautions can go a long way in saving lives.  Don’t go alone One of the simplest things that people take for granted is to allow a person to go for a dip alone when they know how to swim.  Millet says that children especially must never be left unsupervised. “Children love the water too much, and they have no fear,” she says, adding that even though her own children were fairly good swimmers, she said she would never let them take dip alone.  Citing the example of her friend’s daughter who knew how to swim, Millet says that the child was a good swimmer but suffered an epileptic fit even though she had never had such a fit before. “Someone may have heart attack, there are so many things that could go wrong,” she adds. Lifeguards  She says that most apartment complexes these days just get a security guard to stand watch over the pool to cut costs. “When you can afford to pay crores of rupees to buy a house in some apartment complexes, you can pay a few thousand bucks more and hire a lifeguard. When everyone contributes, it doesn’t come up to much,” Millet says. Layers of safety At crowded public swimming pools, she says the ideal ratio would be one lifeguard for less than 10 people. But private clubs or where less people use the pool at any given time, one would suffice. Having high chairs would be an added asset in large pools as the lifeguards could keep an eye on all parts of the swimming pool if it was large. She also said that the everyday maintenance also mattered as in some places the water would be green as it had not been kept clean. During summer camps, she said that an “added layer of safety” would be to ask parents to sit beside the pool so that they could keep an eye on children even if something escaped the notice of lifeguards and coaches.

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