School drowning results in pool closure and swim lessons canceled

http://www.lifesaving.com/node/2954

Where to begin????
Closing the pool and cancelling lessons are the opposite of what should be done. This is such a prime teachable moment. The best way they could honor this poor boy is to make sure everyone understands what happened and why.

Make sure everyone in the school can swim, can recognize what drowning looks like and respond with safe rescue techniques. That would virtually ensure that no other children at this school would have a similar fate. Swimming is a life skill that should be taught in every school.

The industry standard should require a lifeguard in addition to gym teachers on the deck of every swimming pool in the country. How many more lives do we need to lose? This is unbelievable and unacceptable.

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I hate to say this, but these kind of reactions are our fault in many cases.

I'm not saying they let the person drown. What I am talking about is the public relations and information that is pushed out about our facilities and programs BEFORE major incidents happen. For example, once a year give a brief update to your policy makers/ head administrators (who are the ones that make these nuclear options) about your training programs and practices. Feed the local media regular blurbs, releases, phone calls, etc. about interesting things you are doing about training, so you have a positive relationship with them BEFORE the incident  and they can have some facts about steps you take to minimize these accidents from happening. Even if our stories don't make it to print or air, your media people know a little bit of the story.

Yes by all means investigate what went wrong, but don't kill the program. When police make a mistake in a community you don't shut down the police department and say we don't want law enforcement...

The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance has a position paper on Safety in High School Physical Education Aquatic Programs! The paper establishes guidelines and standards for safety in the organization and administration of aquatics in a physical education program. It addresses the need for a certified lifeguard on duty during all pool use. It further states that instruction should be provided by a teacher certified in aquatic instruction by a nationally recognized organization. There are a number of other guidelines that should be followed to ensure the safety of students participating in physical education aquatic program. School districts need to support their PHYSICAL EDUCATION teachers with lifeguards for all aquatic classes and follow best practices in aquatic education.
Educating communities and school faculties about safe aquatic envirnments is the best thing we can do.

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