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Water safety tips ahead of Memorial Day weekend

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Posted at 12:41 PM, May 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-25 12:41:56-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As people go to the beaches, pools and water parks this Memorial Day weekend, child drownings become a major safety concern for families and lifeguards.

In Florida alone, enough kids drown every year to fill 3 to 4 classrooms.

Trever Resheske is a zone guard at Sunsplash Family Water Park in Cape Coral.

His job is to supervise the lifeguards and making sure everyone is where they should be and doing what they are supposed to.

They are each given their own station,” said Resheske.

He said they are all well trained in case there’s a drowning.

“We teach our lifeguards a 10-20. They have 10 seconds to scan their whole water and they have 20 seconds to get their victim,” said Resheske.

But not every beach and pool in Southwest Florida has lifeguards on duty and drownings can happen fast and quietly.

“People think drowning happens in the movies where kids throw up their arms and yell but unfortunately drowning is silent kids go under quick,” said Sally Kreuscher, the Safe Kids Coordinator at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Kreuscher said drownings can typically happen over Memorial Day weekend.

“We recommend layers of protection like teaching your child to swim,” said Kreuscher.

She suggests having your kids use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest. She said too many times they see kids come into the E.R. after using blow up floaties that can easily slip off or deflate which can put your kid at risk.

In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death for kids ages 1 through 4.

Experts urge parents to keep a close eye on their kids and recommend putting a baby gate or fence around your pool with an alarm.