CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As the weather starts to warm up, pools start to fill up. Lifeguards have an important responsibility and are trained to be reactive and proactive. However, they still continue to spread the knowledge this summer season on general pool safety tips for both parents and children.
Brandi Peters is a swim instructor at Santa Fe Swimming Club. She works for hours a day with hundreds of kids to teach them how to swim to prevent accidents from happening.
"While we have lifeguards on duty, we still need parents to pay attention and be watching their kids because the more eyes that are on them, the safer environment it is for the kiddos," Peters said.
Santa Fe Swimming Club is fully staffed and prepared for anything at their pool. They have multiple lifeguards, directors, and instructors per shift.
"Parents have the misconception that when they come to the pool, there are lifeguards on duties so they can just relax, but we need your eyes on your kids. When they're little and they can't swim, you need to be in arms reach of those kids and have them in a coastguard approved life jacket," Lifeguard Instructor Julie Bickham said.
Santa Fe Swimming Club staff urges swimmers, especially children, to be aware of their surroundings, look before they leap, and listen to the lifeguards. The most important tip they stressed is how important it is to teach children how to swim at an early age.
"We have so many kids here in Corpus Christi that don't have swim lessons. We're around so much water with our rivers, our oceans and swimming pools, and because it's so hot here they need the swim lessons," Peters said.
The club offers swimming lessons for kids starting at just six months old but urge everyone, no matter their age, that it's never too late to learn. Bickham told us that accidents are 100% preventable and that their lifeguards are trained and certified to handle any situation. However if someone does find themselves in a scary situation under the water, Bickham stresses not to panic.
"Keep your head back, tummy up, big starfish arms and legs, try to float, and just relax. Don't panic, and don't fight the water," Bickham said.
Lifeguards urge everyone to help them out and do their part in staying vigilant and proactive for the safety of all children this summer.
The Santa Fe Swimming Club encourages those interested in applying for a position or looking into a membership to contact them at 361-945-3975 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Santa Fe Swimming Club is located at 4134 Santa Fe Street, Corpus Christi, TX, 78411.