Drowning isn't the only potential danger in a swimming pool - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Drowning isn't the only potential danger in a swimming pool

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Memorial Day weekend brings huge crowds to public pools and water parks opening for the season. But three incidents in Florida are reminders that drowning isn't the only possible danger in a pool.

7-year-old Jack Bates and his friends are like fish at Springhurst Swim Club. Most took their first lessons, never leaving a lifeguard's sight.

"We're taught to scan the whole pool, and we scan from the bottom up," said lifeguard Jacob Shpilberg. "People can slip under the surface very easily. It's not hard to drown, especially for someone who can't swim with parent supervision."

But sometimes, even eyes aren't enough.

In Miami, two children were shocked badly when faulty wiring electrified the water in a community pool.

Seven-year-old Calder Sloan was killed in his own pool.

"They found the ground cable wasn't hooked up," said Calder's father Chris Sloan. "So essentially, Calder became the ground, so electricity, instead of traveling through the ground, traveled through his body."

Such dangers don't take long to develop. Fortunately, the fix is fairly easy and inexpensive.

Springhurst's pool lights "are connected through a ground fault circuit interrupter," according to Scott Miller of Kentuckiana Pool Management. "If the water hit the wire, it would trip that circuit and the green light would light up, and it would disable these two breakers."

Miller said an electrician can install a ground fault circuit interrupter for $40 to $100.

What you might noticed most at area pools, Miller said, is what's missing.

"There's very few high-dives in the city of Louisville now because they're very dangerous," Miller said, "and it's not going off the board. It's falling off the side of the board, hitting the deck."

Louisville Metro Parks took all the diving boards out of its four outdoor pools.

"We used to be, 'Make the rescue, make the rescue, pat yourself on the back,'" said Keith Smith of Louisville Metro Parks, "but over the last 20 years, we've learned it's easier to stop things ahead of time than to jump in the water."

That's where parents jump in.

"Just watching your child, sitting on the edge of the pool and keeping an eye on the child. Swimming with your child makes our job so much easier and makes the pool a lot safer."

Metro Parks' outdoor pools will be open Memorial Day and the weekend of May 31 and June 1 before they open for the season on June 7.

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