While the common perception of a pool is that it's safer than the beach, that may not be the case.

Two drownings in recent weeks have shown that it can indeed be dangerous to swim in a pool.

Two Rivers YMCA Aquatics and Family Director Lesley Webster says crowded pools may mean a lifeguard is responsible for a number of different people.

"People think 'Oh, I'm in a pool and it's safe because it's not an ocean, it's not a river.' They don't have current to worry about. Plus, you've usually got a lifeguard and you think 'Oh I'm safe,'" Webster said Monday. "A lifeguard is watching a very large area, and it's really easy especially if it's a crowded pool, it's easy for something to happen and nobody sees it."

Another concern is that people tend to assume that drowning is dramatic, Webster said. "It often looks like for a child and especially for a toddler, it looks like they're playing when in reality they can't get out of the water," she said. Signs of drowning include a person being straight up and down in the water with their head tilted all the way back. "Usually, their legs aren't doing anything but their arms are pumping up and down by their sides, usually in the water."

When drowning, a person's body has essentially gone into shock and gone into survival mode, attempting to just keep their face above water, Webster said. That means they also can't call for help or tell you they need help.

For parents of small children, Webster says they must keep their eyes on their child at all times. "That means stay off your phone, put the book away, watch your child."

For bigger kids who will be swimming on their own, Webster says to make sure they either can swim or wearing a Coast Guard certified safety vest. That's not the end all, though; parents need to still make sure their child is being watched.

If something does start to happen, the best thing to do is to get a lifeguard's attention. Webster says you should never go into the water after someone. "If you're close enough to reach out something like a pool noodle so they can grab it, that's okay but you stay away from them where they can get a hold of you."

"Reach and Throw, Don't Go" is an important part of what the YMCA teaches kids, North and West Family YMCA Aquatics Director Kristin Pharr said of what to do if someone is in trouble near you. "Don't try and get in the water and save them, because that's when something bad could happen and you could end up drowning yourself as well," she said. "The goal is to find anything that you can find that you can reach out to them in the water." 

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