Weather in the Foothills

“Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands and practice swimming strokes …”
~ American businessman Darell Hammond

There is no other day, not even the astronomical one on June 21, in which summer is welcomed with such fanfare. The Fourth of July shouts of freedom while the weather says, “Yep, summer is really here.” It’s also a time to get serious about pool safety.

LA County contains over 250,000 swimming pools, most of which are in the suburbs like La Crescenta. Daily, nationwide, there are 10 deaths due to drownings; two-thirds occur between May and September. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the number one accidental cause of death for preschool children and is the second for those aged 6-14 (first is car accidents). Shockingly, of preschoolers who drown, 70% are being supervised by an adult. How does this happen?

The Hollywood image of someone yelling with flailing arms is rare. The reality is the drowning swimmer can’t call for help because speaking requires a normal breathing pattern. Waving for help is impossible because the person is struggling to stay upright in the water. The victim can easily go unnoticed. Drowning happens quickly and silently.

As two-thirds of all drownings happen during the summertime, now is the time to update pool precautions. At the top of my list are swim lessons and alert adult supervision. Many swim classes are playtime and not a learn-to-swim time. For our family, one-on-one instruction was the answer. The expense is a priority investment. As the kids do their part – learn to swim – the adults must do their part – supervise.

Summertime is party time! It’s no surprise most pool accidents happen on the weekends. Choose a non-drinking, designated adult to supervise or hire a lifeguard.

Clear skies and mild temperatures are expected on the Fourth of July.

Happy Birthday, America!


Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at