Cameron Smyth | Splash into Summer — Safely!

Cameron Smyth

Summer will always be synonymous with the smell of sunscreen, sounds of splashing and days spent in the pool to escape the Southern California heat. However, amid the excitement, it is crucial to remember the importance of water safety, especially when it comes to protecting our loved ones, particularly small children.  

The significance of water safety cannot be emphasized enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more children ages 1 to 4 die from drowning than any other cause of death in the United States. This alarming statistic serves as a stark reminder that water safety is not something to be taken lightly, and appropriate precautions should be taken to prevent such tragedies.  

Many of these deaths are caused by a lack of supervision, inability to swim, not wearing a life jacket and missing or ineffective fences around water. Each of these factors can make drowning more likely, but are all preventable.  

Each summer, the city of Santa Clarita’s eight pools are packed with residents and visitors who want to enjoy the cool water and spend a day on the slide or jumping off the diving boards. For families with small children, it is of utmost importance to prioritize water safety at the pool. Never let your child swim alone and always make them wear a life jacket.  

At each city pool, residents and visitors can check out a life jacket free of charge. These are available during Recreational Swim, which is offered during the day and on weekends at the Aquatic Center and park pools. Perfect for parents with small children is Toddler Time, a program designed for toddlers and their families to enjoy the walk-in pool without the large crowds during Recreational Swim.  

Santa Clarita offers a wide variety of aquatic programs catering to individuals of all ages and skill levels. For children, there are American Red Cross swim lessons that focus on building water confidence, stroke development and safety skills. These lessons are taught by certified instructors who create a fun, supportive and encouraging environment for young learners. Within these classes, we are proud to offer adaptive swim lessons for participants with disabilities where they can receive instruction and guided demonstrations to help them become comfortable in the water.  

For those who want to be more competitive, your children and teens can join our swimming teams. Whether you’re a proud shark, dolphin or stingray, competitive swim teams are the perfect place for your child to become a stronger and more strategic swimmer, while also meeting new friends and coaches.  

In addition to competitive swimming teams, the city also offers specialized aquatics programs such as water polo, youth splash ball, diving and underwater hockey for those interested in pursuing these aquatic sports at a more advanced level.  

For adults seeking to improve their swimming capabilities or just enjoy water-based fitness, the city provides Aqua Zumba, water aerobics classes, H2Oga and learn-to-swim classes among others. These programs enable individuals to enhance their skills while promoting overall health and well-being.  

Be sure to also check out the “Free Float and Flick” at Santa Clarita Pool on July 28 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., where you and your family can enjoy your movie favorite, “Shark Tale,” while you float in the pool or lounge on the deck. This is always a popular event, so pre-registration is highly encouraged to save your spot.  

Nevertheless, water safety is critical, especially during the summer season when the sun is out and pool activities are in full swing. By following essential safety guidelines, such as active supervision, wearing life jackets and taking swimming lessons, families can reduce the risk of water accidents, whether that’s in a pool or out on a lake. In Southern California, where water plays a significant role, the importance of water safety becomes even more pronounced. Let us ensure a memorable and safe summer for everyone. 

Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]. 

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