I would first like to reiterate my sympathies for this family at this tragic time. As a parent of four children, I myself am fully aware of the risks that are present each day they leave the house.
However, my feelings remain unchanged regarding pool safety and the responsibility lifeguards have when they take that type of job and pool operators have towards users of their pools.
To blame a parent for the loss of their child at a facility that offers lifeguards and that users pay a fee for is absurd. Some things should be included in the price of admission and safe environments are one of them.
You cannot just have lifeguards acting as warm bodies. Lifeguards are taught and trained to look for hazardous situations more than the average swimmer. Yes, we as parents have a duty to watch our kids too. However, the rules set out in the Texas Department of Health and Safety Standards for Pools and Spas clearly point out rules limiting the number of bathers or swimmers in a pool at one time.
These rules should be enforced and the number of people should be limited to safe numbers so that lifeguards can effectively do their jobs. This is a job for the pool staff, NOT parents.
If the pool is designed in a way that lures children in to a shallow area and then gets them to a deep area without safety measures such as line markings and floating ropes that should raise a flag. Again, these rules are part of the State of Texas Guidelines and must be followed by Pool Staff NOT parents.
The people that responded to my blog should make their concerns in writing to Life Time Fitness so they are fully aware of the dangers their pool may have. If lifeguards are not paying attention and not doing their job, they ned to know about it ASAP.
If the comment that a reader from the Austin American Statesman blog is true that this is not the first drowning for that company, then questions need to be answered as to how this happened again and what measures were taken to prevent this.
Life vest are great if used properly and with supervision, they are never a save all.
The rules are in place so that if a child gets away from a parent which can happen, safeguards take over to save a child from harm’s way. Thats why we have guidelines like water clarity because if a child is at the bottom of the pool that child can be saved and thats why we need well trained and responsible lifeguards to step in when they are needed and save the day.
Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. One thing that has happened is people are talking about pool safety and that may help save a life.
Thank you all for your responses and posts.
Please stay tuned for more information as it develops and be on the look out for pool safety posts from my blog page.