Letters to the Editor

Public pool: Pool's policy explained

As director of North Whidbey Parks District, which encompasses the John Vanderzicht Pool, I would like a chance to respond to the recent letter to the editor regarding pool policy.

Our goal of enforcing the list of rules and regulations is to keep each patron as safe as humanly possible. The personal flotation device (PFD) rules have been a source of questions over the many years the pool has been open. The idea of wearing a flotation device has also been under discussion throughout the aquatics world. Many articles in aquatics publications have discussed this issue and debated the pros and cons of the use of wearing PFDs in a pool environment.

One major con is the false sense of security it gives to the children wearing them and the parents responsible. The other issue stated in the discussion of the types of suits worn by Mrs. Porter’s daughter is that once a child has become buoyant in the suit, they can effortlessly turn upside down and stay in this position as easily as they stay right side up. Pool policy requires adult accompaniment for any child 6 and under to alleviate these problems and encourage family interaction. Small children need direction in and around water and through this play they will become more interested in learning how to swim. If they always have floatation devices to depend on, their faith in them may impede their progress towards becoming an independent and confident swimmer.

There is however times to use PFDs and we as aquatic professionals do encourage and teach the using of these when boating. The only PFD the pool uses are Coast Guard certified life jackets provided during our swim lesson and kayak programs. We also have an abundance of toys that float but are not considered floatation devices. We hope that this information will be helpful to many of you reading this letter. We at the pool would be happy to discuss any questions you have pertaining to rules and regulations, etc. Thank you for your support.

Jim Shulock

Director NWP&RD

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