Pool Safety for Toddlers

The city pool at Elmwood Park hosted an important safety program for children Tuesday. It’s a unique way to get them to think about safety when swimming.

Just this past weekend we had a close call at a private pool in Carter Lake. A toddler was pulled out in the nick of time.

The program at Elmwood is designed to educate toddlers on how to be safe around a pool. The Float for Life and Josh the Otter Session teach those who may not know how to swim how to roll on their backs and swim like an otter so they can breathe, float and reach the side of a pool.

That is the physical lesson. The mental portion of the lesson teaches those kids to not go near the water without a parent and to always be safe and cautious.

The program was founded by a Lincoln couple who lost their 2-and-a-half-year-old son Josh when he fell into their backyard pool and drowned in 2008.

His father told us many people wait to give their kids swimming lessons until they’re older but getting them soon after they turn one could save their life.

Blake Collingsworth, with the Josh the Otter Foundation, said, "Josh was 2-and-a-half and we had that same process - we're working on getting him to swim and he'll get there like our other son did - but if we would have gotten him into this program, it’s different not just teaching him how to swim or do the butterfly or breast stroke this is a skill that teaches him not to panic if he goes into the water."

The program was put on in cooperation with the Parks and Rec Department and Children’s Hospital. The Parks and Rec Department is bringing the program to all their pools across the metro this summer.

Here's the schedule:

  • June 10: Elmwood Pool, Montclair Pool and Hitchcock Pool
  • June 12: Mockingbird Hills Pool and Oak Heights Pool
  • June 17: Karen Pool and Elmwood Pool
  • June 19: Spring Lake Pool and Miller Pool
  • June 24: Hanscom Pool and Gallagher Pool
  • June 26: Common Ground Pool and Elkhorn Pool
  • July 1: Cryer Pool and Deer Ridge Pool
  • July 3: Lee Valley Pool and Roanoke Pool
  • July 4: Camelot Pool
  • July 9: Zorinsky Pool


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