Jaden Vincent enjoys an evening at the splash pad during the Beyond Expectations swim Thursday evening at the Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Jaden Vincent enjoys an evening at the splash pad during the Beyond Expectations swim Thursday evening at the Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
DELPHOS — When Delphos Municipal Swimming Pool Manager Lois MacLennan watched Bode and Morgan Miller talk about the drowning death of their 19-month-old daughter and the next day Nichole Hughes on the death of her 3-year-old son on the Today show this week, she knew she had to join forces with these parents to raise awareness of pool safety.

“Drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages 1-4 and the second leading cause of death in children 1-14,” MacLennan said. “It takes less than one minute, actually seconds, for someone to drown. It’s also 100 percent preventable.”

MacLennan, who has been the pool manager for seven years, says parental and/or guardian supervision is crucial to pool safety.

“A lot of parents rely on floaties for their children who are non-swimmers or just learning to swim,” MacLennan said. “Floaties can be too big, too small or one can come off or deflate. They still need to be supervised.”

Non-swimmer can’t keep themselves afloat and according to MacLennan, should not be in water deeper than their shoulders.

“Life jackets are good, too, but I just recently watched a young swimmer take his off in water that was too deep for him,” MacLennan said. “They still need parental supervision.”

MacLennan said sometimes a parent or sibling overestimates the child’s ability to swim.

“I have seen parents and brothers and sisters tell a younger one that they can swim, just do it,” MacLennan said.

The pool manager understands the struggle for parents, especially those bringing more than one child to the pool.

“It’s very easy for younger children to slip away and in just an instant that can turn tragic,” she stressed. “While a parent is watching a child in the splash pad, another can be in the pool in seconds.”

There are six lifeguards on duty at all times, five in chairs and one in the office. While they continuously scan the pool for those in trouble or who may be breaking pool rules, they are not babysitters.

“If a lifeguard has to watch someone’s child who shouldn’t be where they are, they can’t watch everyone else,” MacLennan said.

Since the pool opened in May, there have been 38 lifeguard assists, 80 percent of which were at the end of the slide.

“It’s really easy to lose footing or get turned around at the end of the slide,” one lifeguard said. “Sometimes kids get disoriented.”

One tip is to familiarize yourself with a new facility.

“We have a lot more attendance since the splash pad has been added,” the lifeguard said. “Some people don’t know that while it’s three feet at the perimeter of the pool, it is much deeper out towards the rafts.”

“It is a testament to how well-trained our staff is that they are catching these problems quickly,” MacLennan said.

MacLennan said that just like distracted driving causes accidents on the road, distracted supervision around a pool can cause them, too.

“Everyone has more fun when everyone is safe,” MacLennan said.

Pool rules are posted at the entrance gate off North Street.