Richmond city pools open Saturday! School is out for the summer now and children and teens will be hitting the pool en masse. But there are always dangers while you're having fun in the sun.
Chief David Creasy from the Richmond Fire Department says situations in the water can change in the blink of an eye.
"It's very easy for a child to go under water and someone not see that," Creasy said.
He says parents need to keep a close eye on their kids - even when there's a lifeguard on duty. Creasy says it could be tough to spot a child in trouble with the big crowds expected this weekend.
"That can be a problem when too many people get in the water and they're not paying attention," he said. "People need to be observant."
Firefighters also say never swim alone. Always make sure there's someone else around to rescue you if you run into trouble.
And this may sound obvious -- but don't go in the water if you can't swim. Firefighters say every year they rescue people who got in the water without knowing how to swim.
Finally, don't rely on floatation devices. They don't make you invincible in the water.
"Parents often put on swimmies or little inflatable rings on their child and they think they're okay," Creasy said. "Basically, they're toys. They're not personal floatation devices."
Firefighters say the earlier your child learns to swim, the better.
Your child can help himself or herself a lot more during a rescue if they know what they're doing in the water.
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