DEAR ABBY: I have been a lifeguard for more than 30 years, and I continually see parents and other adults putting children in harm's way. Would you please remind your readers that they need to be vigilant around water? A drowning is nothing like they show in the movies.
As you take your family to your favorite swimming hole this summer, please be careful. If your child isn't a competent swimmer, never allow him or her to go beyond arm's reach. Never exceed the ratio of two nonswimmers to one adult. If possible, stay where the child can touch the bottom.
If your children can swim and you allow them to go into the pool, lake, ocean without you - always watch them! Yes, lifeguards are observing the swimmers, but no one on this planet will watch your child with the same vigilance that you will.
- Lifeguard John
DEAR LIFEGUARD JOHN: Every year, we read about families basking in the sun near water, and children who have lost their lives because the person who was supposed to be watching them became momentarily distracted. I agree the best way to protect against tragedies like this is unremitting vigilance. Thanks for giving me a chance to say it again.
DEAR ABBY: I have a brother-in-law whom I love dearly who lives out of state and stays in our guest room frequently. I try hard to be a thoughtful hostess. When he comes, we spend the first 45 minutes rearranging the guest room furniture because he likes the bed to face west. Currently, it faces north, as do the nightstands and the dresser.
I accommodate him, but frankly, it's getting very old. Am I being nasty to want our furniture arranged the way we're comfortable? Or must I allow him to rearrange it the way he wants it?
- Good Hostess in California
DEAR HOSTESS: A good hostess tries to accommodate the needs of her guests; however, if the furniture in your house has been moved, your brother-in-law should return it to the way he found it before he leaves.