** NVSL Division 5 Swim Team**
(including Mini-Sharks developmental program)
Over 150 swimmers from ages 4 - 18

A Message About Safety at the Pool


As many of you have noticed, we've had a very busy summer at Hunter Mill. Everyone wants to enjoy the pool, and we all want our members to be able to do so safely. For that reason, we need everyone's help to address a few things before someone gets hurt. Below, we highlight some behaviors we and other members have observed in recent weeks. Each of the areas below require our attention to ensure the pool continues to be a safe and enjoyable place for the remainder of the summer.

Behavior on the pool deck and in the pool. We've heard several reports from lifeguards and from members about children running on the pool deck, diving into the pool, pushing one another into the water, and engaging in rough play. Any one of these behaviors is unsafe and could lead to serious injury. Often, a reminder from an adult (such as "walk please") will help. In other cases, it may require bringing unsafe behavior to the attention of the lifeguards. The lifeguards will try to address unsafe behavior with a whistle warning. Should it be necessary, our rules do allow for the suspension of members who fail to observe the pool rules: "The pool staff may suspend the privileges of any person for the remainder of the day when such person fails to observe the rules or otherwise conducts him or herself improperly. The pool staff shall have the authority to suspend the privileges of any member for up to one week."

Wading Pool safety. We've had reports of unattended children in the baby pool and older children running in the wading pool enclosure. The wading pool is for children 5 years of age and younger. Children should never be left unattended in the wading pool, and parents are responsible for the children they bring into the wading pool. The wading pool is not observed by the lifeguards. If there is a child in the wading pool, an adult should be inside the wading pool enclosure with that child and not observing from outside the enclosure.

Unattended children. The lifeguards are primarily responsible for health and safety at the pool. They are not there to babysit. As a neighborhood pool, we know that younger children often walk or ride their bikes to the pool without their parents. We've had complaints of groups of children being disruptive or unruly while at the pool by themselves. We want children to be able to enjoy the freedom of going to the pool. Before your children leave home, please remind them to be respectful of others and observe the pool rules. Please remember that even if you are not physically at the pool, you are still responsible for the conduct of your family members and guests. Here are the rules for what age children can go to the pool by themselves: "During general swimming hours, children who are not yet 10 years of age shall not be permitted within the pool enclosure unless accompanied by a person 13 years of age or older, who will be responsible for and supervise the child. All children ages 10 through 12 who are not on the swim team, must satisfactorily complete a swim test administered by the Pool Staff in order to be allowed into the pool unaccompanied."

Furniture thrown in the pool after hours. One week ago, after the pool was closed for the evening, several teenage members entered the pool enclosure and tossed several pieces of deck furniture into the pool. The furniture was discovered at the bottom the next morning when one of the lead lifeguards arrived to open the pool. While this may seem like a harmless prank, entering the pool after hours is trespassing. Furthermore, doing this can damage the plaster coating of the pool. Replastering the pool is expensive; and, as we saw in 2016, a damaged pool can take several weeks to repair. As a reminder, our rules state: "Willful destruction, damage, or removal of property of HMSRC property shall be punishable by forfeiture of the members' privileges until such time as full reimbursement is made for the restoration costs. Legal action will be instituted in those instances deemed necessary."

Clubhouse cleanliness. The common areas of the clubhouse are available for all members to enjoy during general swimming hours. If you or your children use the clubhouse to play ping pong or use the games or toys, we ask that you please return items to their proper place so that others can enjoy a clean space. Please don't leave this area a mess for others to clean up.

Since we opened in late May, the club has recorded nearly 7,000 visits to the pool. While we don't have numbers from previous seasons to compare, we know that this is one of the busiest seasons in memory. We want the pool to be a place we can all enjoy safely. Please take a few minutes to review the Operating Rules and Regulations, especially paragraphs 12 and 13. Lastly, please talk to your children and remind them of the need to observe the rules when they are at the pool. As we used to say when I was flying in the Navy, "Everyone is a Safety Officer." Thank you for doing your part to help.

Stay safe and have fun,


Herb Carmen
Hunter Mill Swim & Racquet Club

Posted: 2021-07-16

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Updated: 2021-08-16

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