Wave pools create an atmosphere similar to swimming in an ocean, but the giant waves are machine made and created by tens of thousands of gallons of water being pumped into the pool.
So how can you stay safe in a wave pool? Be sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- If you can't swim, or if you're a weak swimmer, always wear a life jacket, which the parks provide.
- Don't go into the water over your head.
- Do not use inflatable rafts because you can easily fall into the water.
- Children should always be supervised by an adult
At a wave pool in Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark in South Carolina, a small girl recently fell out of her tube, but a lifeguard was on duty to rescue her right away. Another video from the same pool showed a similar scenario.
Caroline Edwards, 19, is a lifeguard tasked with saving kids struggling in the pool.
"It can happen to anybody," she said.
She says machine-made wave pools can be scary and that her water park averages two rescues per day.
“It does get a little stressful out there,” she said. “The waves can go over your head easily. Even if you're a strong swimmer, it's kind of a difficult place to be.”
As Inside Edition's Megan Alexander found out, even tamer wave pools can be challenging.
"I gotta tell you, in the deep end where I can't touch, it gets tiring treading water with all those big waves so you really have to be careful and make sure you have enough energy," she said. "I'm an adult, but this would be difficult if you were a kid."
Earlier this month, 7-year-old Robert Pearson nearly drowned while swimming in a wave pool in Hurricane, W.Va.
His mother, Ashley, says it was the scariest moment of her life.
"He was lifeless in front of me," she said. "He had [gone] cold, he was unresponsive, it was horrifying."