LAKEVIEW — Pool time is a family ritual for some, but safety is of the utmost importance when kids are in the water.
A water safety open house Saturday at the Foss Swim School in Lakeview, 3026 N. Ashland Ave., will teach parents, guardians and children all about playing it cool in the pool.
From 7-8 p.m. Saturday, families can participate in the school's in-water stations to practice swimming in clothes, safely floating and situational role play. Early birds will also receive free goggles, towels, totes or safety coloring books.
The free class will share tips like removing children's fear of water and making sure parents know what to look and listen for to keep their kids safe.
"Drowning is silent and swift," said Jon Foss, the company founder. "It's essential that parents and caregivers understand the importance of staying close and paying attention to a child that can't swim."
Foss Swim School has several suburb locations in addition to the Lakeview school, plus several in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota.
Family-owned since 1993, the school seeks to prevent children from drowning with the help of the class lessons.
Some 500 children younger than 5 drowned last year in the United States, and 70 percent of pre-schoolers who drowned had one or more parent present and were missing for fewer than 5 minutes, according to Foss.
Starting swimming lessons at a young age can be an early prevention tool.