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Do You Feel Safe Letting Children Swim in Public Pools?

Death of Fall River woman sparks discussion on local pools.

Each week, our council of experts and smart parents take your questions, give advice and share solutions in this parenting column. This feature will also be the place to drop in for a talk about the latest parenting hot topic.

So grab a cup of coffee and settle in as we start the conversation today with a topic and question:

The story of 36-year-old Marie Joseph who drowned in a Fall River public pool without being found for two days has spread across media outlets this week. It has brought a lot of attention to the safety of local pools and what's being done to make sure nothing like that happens again.

Do you feel comfortable swimming in Norton's public pool? Do you feel comfortable letting your children swim there? What can guardians and the town do to better ensure swimmers' safety?

Please comment in the box below, and check Norton Patch every Wednesday at 1 p.m. for this segment. Also, tune in Norton Patch at 3 p.m. today for a video and story on Everett Leonard Park's pool.

Sheila Gaudet July 07, 2011 at 12:25 AM
In general, I believe that most public pools are safe and have no problems with using them or allowing my children to use them. However, I was a lifeguard and swim teacher for many years as well as a competitive swimmer. If water appears to be unsafe (whether in a pool or in open water) I choose to err on the side of caution, particularly when it comes to my children. My youngest is still learning how to swim and if a pool was very crowded I would not allow him in there unless I was directly supervising. I do think everyone should learn how to swim and teach their children. Too many accidents happen when one person gets into trouble and others try and help but do not have the swimming or water safety skills to do so and you end up with multiple deaths. I think most entities that operate public pools act in good faith but the ultimate responsibility for deciding if a particular pool is safe for your family lies with the parent.
Paul July 07, 2011 at 07:54 PM
I am a lifeguard and was horrified by that story. If a pool is cloudy it's chemicals are out of balance and probably unhealthy. There should be regulations on that. It seems that many people are at fault for this unnecessary death and that an expensive lawsuit by the family will motivate the rules that should have been in effect and enforced to begin with. How terribly, awfully sad.

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