Safety first when jumping in the pool

By Anthony Antoine |

Published 05/25 2014 06:33PM

Updated 05/27 2014 01:05PM

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Pools across the county are starting to open up, but safety is the number one priority. Lifeguards have the training necessary to save someone if they need to. However, parents keeping a watchful eye on their kids, can make a big difference at the pool.

After a brutal winter, things are finally starting to heat up. Kids like Oliver Smith are trying to beat the heat at Sholem Aquatic Center.

Oliver says, "Right now I’m getting ready to go down the big slide."

Oliver came to the park last year, but things are a bit different this time around.

His dad, Matt Smith, says, "It's a relief from last year. There was a lot of changes for him just as far as his size. This year, he's much more interactive. We're able to go down the big slides and really utilize the pool a lot better."

With all the foot traffic, lifeguards are working hard to keep families safe.

Eric McCleary, the manager at the aquatic center says, "They’re required to do what we call a 10/20. They scan their entire zone within 10 seconds. We are always incredibly conscious about training our guards to spot anything unnatural, or struggling swimmers."

Sometimes drowning isn't what you think. Doctors say it can involve very little splashing, no waving and no calls for help. For little kids, it can happen very fast.

"I think it’s just responsible parenting and just being attentive to your kids. The lifeguards do a great job here, but I think it's just keeping him in swim lessons and making sure that they're familiar with the water, not scared of it, but they know what to do and what not to do," says Smith.

Drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children ages 15 and under. Vehicle accidents are first.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.