01 July 2008

Dunham Pool Pics and Diving Boards

Dunham is the recently completed Cincinnati Recreation Commission pool. This is one of three regional pools they plan on operating. The smaller, neighborhood pools are on the outs:

There are umbrellas, grass, a snack bar.. All things I wish our pool had.

A few things I noticed:
1. The pool is in an isolated park, quite a hike from the bus stop or residences.
2. Memebership is $100 a year for a family or $5 a day per person. Neighborhood pools are $5-15 per person per year.
3. They have 25-yard swimming lanes for competition, but it is shallow water.
4. They have very tall and very expensive slides, which are quite popular.
5. They have zero depth entry for toddlers and handicapped people.
5. They have NO Diving Boards.

The most popular part of our pool is the deep end. The kids love the diving boards, and also dive for rings tossed to the bottom of the 10'. It is very gratifying to see 7 year-olds learn these skills. The elimination of diving boards is a big mistake IMO.

I have done a little research on the disappearing diving boards, and have found some interesting information:
1. Most diving accidents happen in lakes, ponds and rivers (75%).
2. Of the diving accidents that happen in pools, most are in the shallow end (95%).
3. Of diving accidents in pools, most are in pools with no life guard, at motels or apartment complexes.

If you are interested in these facts, see some notes from a research journal that I transcribed here.

On a final note: Here is a lamentation that two working parents has led to severe reduction in summer swimming.


dew said...

Impressive...thanks for the pics Mike.

Yeah, it's a bummer about the location - it seems so far from us, but hopefully we'll get something more spectacular in the basin someday.

valereee said...

I guess I don't blame the city for having no diving board or deep end. Every so often some kid drowns in a city pool. It's great for kids to learn diving and deep water skills, but really it seems to me the point of a city pool is to:

1. allow city kids to learn to swim if they/their parents are so inclined
2. provide city residents with a way to cool off on a hot summer day

Anything else is gravy, and when the gravy is occasionally accompanied by death and lawsuits, can we really blame the city for deciding to eliminate it?

CityKin said...

^THAT IS NOT TRUE^. If you pay closer attention to the news you will notice no drownings in Cincinnati Public Pools. They are almost always in private pools or pools of apartment complexes.

But even if there was a drowning, I reject that kind of over-protectiveness outright. That kind of thinking is the same that ruined all the playgrounds. It';s the same thinking that stops thousands of parents from even considering city living, ...because it may be a fraction safer in a suburban yard.

And also consider this. If the kids had learned how to swim at the public pool with paid lifeguards and instructors, maybe they wouldn't have drowned when they visited friend's pool at the apartment complex.

valereee said...

CityKin, it's not really overprotectiveness. Overprotectiveness is the smoking ban and helmet lawas. Deciding not to have deep ends/diving boards is prevention of lawsuits against a city. I'm guessing the city's lawyers recommended no diving boards/deep ends. I don't like it either, but I also don't blame the city. It would really almost be irresponsible to keep building pools with diving boards and deep ends at this point.

Drownings don't have to happen in -Cincinnati's- city pools -- only in -any- city's public pools, followed by a lawsuit -- to have this unfortunate effect. In a litigious age, you can't really blame a goverment entity for being aware of its vulnerability to lawsuits. If Cincinnati built a pool today that had a deep end and got sued next year because some kid drowned, there'd be all sorts of people who were outraged that the city had taken such a potentially expensive risk.

I agree, kids should learn to swim. IMHO, it should be considered a life skill akin to reading. Everyone should achieve basic mastery. But unless parents support it, it unfortunately won't happen.

CityKin said...

...and unless there is a place to swim the parent will not be able to teach them.

I refuse to make my decisions and I refuse to let my Councilmembers make decisions based on fear of being sued. (if that is the reason they are removing them)

But beyond all this, there is also the point that more accidents happen in the shallow end. Heck if the City is afraid of being sued, they should really be removing the shallow ends. (Well, come to think of it, they are doing that as well.)

The whole premise that diving boards are inherently dangerous is wrong.

valereee said...

CityKin, you can teach a kid to swim without a diving board or a deep end. Both my kids learned to swim in 3' of water. They didn't go into the deep end until -after- they'd learned to swim.

I don't know what the ideal solution is here. I just don't blame the city for weighing the benefits of having a deep end/diving board against the increased risks and deciding to try to find a compromise between not having pools at all -- some cities have gone to 'water parks' where you all you can do is run through sprinklers and such -- and opening the city up to multi-million dollar lawsuits that their insurance won't pay for. (Most insurance companies won't pay for a lawsuit that results if an entity ignores advice from its lawyers.)

Again, not saying it's ideal. It's a drag, and unfortunately a sign of the times that so many decisions seem to come down to 'but will it get us sued?'

Anonymous said...

If I may add another note here, missing in some of the exchange is the fact that in the not too distant past several of our local public schools helped to fill this instructional (swimming) void. Since swimming is no longer strictly a summer activity doesn't it make sense to work with our young people on a year round basis at locations where learning is taking place? Sadly, pools, and most any other athletic activity, are merely fond memories of school days past.

valereee said...

Anon, you know, that's an interesting point -- I didn't have swimming instruction at my school when I was growing up, but my kids do. In fact, if I understand it correctly, you have to be able to swim to complete a course required for graduation at my kids' high school. It's pretty surprising to me that the school still maintains its pool -- we had drivers' ed in school, but does anyone any more?

CityKin said...

We've never done indoor swimming, though I suppose we may end up joining a YMCA if our pool is removed. But the elementary schools do not and will not ever have pools. I had no idea that High Schools had pools. Are these at public schools?

Anonymous said...

The Cincinnati Public School pools that I am aware of, there may well have been more, include Hughes High School, Walnut Hills (2 actually), and one each at Aiken and West High. The last two locations were closed in recent years (West Hi's just this year I believe). The Hughes Pool will likely be removed in the next 2-3 years. One would have hoped that with the billion dollar remake of CPS there would be room for at least one quality indoor swimming facility. Something like that would seem to have been a good fit for the Community Learning Center model.