I’ve been a “pool rat’’ since I was a kid. We went to the local swimming pool every day each summer. During my teens, I spent summers sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. It is no surprise that my first job was at a water park and twenty years later, I’m still at it. I love the water!
Today, my love for the water has not changed. It is still my favorite form of recreation. However, my respect for the water has grown. I can’t take my eyes off it. I love to watch it and my job requires I do so. Along with my love for the water, I also understand there is risk, and I have spent my career watching out for others who may not have this understanding as they take part in water recreation.
Our lifeguard teams at Great Wolf Lodge understand this risk. They are trained to be focused on watching the water in our slides, our pools, and our attractions, ready to assist at any moment. While you are having fun, they are focused. That is the reason when you approach them they only take their eyes off the water briefly, just to acknowledge you. Their attention must always be on the water. “Eyes on the water” is the way of life at our resorts. Their focus on the water demonstrates how much we value your safety.
Sadly, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children ages 14 and younger. It can happen in just seconds, with just a few inches of water. As lifeguards scan the water for swimmers in distress, they are looking at the surface, in the middle, and even on the bottom of the pools. You can understand how challenging this can be in a crowded, bustling pool and why it is so important to always keep “eyes on the water.”
I love the water and I think swimming and other aquatic recreation is essential to life. Water slides are great fun! Boating, trips to the beach, and visits to the local pool are opportunities for your family to create lifelong memories. Swimming is an important life skill, is great exercise and is just plain fun. But, enjoying the water also means we need to remember there is risk.
Remember the next time your family hits the water, safety begins with each of us. Teach your children to respect the water. Register them for swim lessons. Swim alongside them. Supervise them at all times. Encourage the use of a lifejacket. As an aquatics professional for Great Wolf Lodge, my eyes are always on the water. And as a parent, yours should be too.
Director of Aquatics
Great Wolf Lodge - Grapevine, Texas
Kevin began his career in aquatics over 16 years ago, and has worked in Cincinnati, Ohio and at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia. An avid waterpark fan, Kevin loves to ride the Howlin’ Tornado at his resort.