Chelsea and Sierra Spence are two St Catharine’s residents who have raised awareness and visibility of swimmers with medical conditions that lifeguards need to be aware of. Sierra – has grown up with epilepsy but always had a passion for the water and swimming. She did not let this neurological disorder define her and has swam competitively for the majority of her life. Her family recognized that she would need to be easy to distinguish in a crowd and so they often had her swim with bright coloured caps in case of emergency.
After having three seizures in the pool, that went unrecognized by lifeguards she and her sister developed the Swim Safely Cap. As a lifeguard, Chelsea provided insight in the design of the swim cap in order to be highly visible and recognizable in the pool.
Their goal was for all lifeguards to easily recognize the red cross symbol and the swimmer with potential risk. Together, Chelsea and Sierra hope that the Swim Safely Cap will be widespread in its adoption so that swimmers in pools across Canada will remain safe.
They are selling the swim safely caps at Brock University and the Niagara Children’s Centre or from their website swimsafely.org. At a cost of $10 they hope to just cover their cost, they want to make the swim safely cap as affordable as possible so that they become commonly used.